Approximately 70 percent of Americans over the age of 65 will need some level of long-term care services in their lifetime with 40 percent needing care in a nursing home. If you find yourself, or someone you love, in need of long-term care, it is important to also understand the rules and regulations that apply to LTC facilities. To get you started, a Carmel elder law attorney at Frank & Kraft explains long-term care transfer and eviction rules you need to know..
Your Federal and State Long-Term Care Facility Rights
Nursing homes are governed by both federal and state laws. Among the most important of those is the federal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law (NHRL). The NHRL guarantees nursing home residents a number of important rights and requires nursing homes to “promote and protect the rights of each resident.” Specifically, as a nursing home resident, you have:
- The right to freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect;
- The right to freedom from physical restraints;
- The right to privacy;
- The right to accommodation of medical, physical, psychological, and social needs;
- The right to participate in resident and family groups;
- The right to be treated with dignity;
- The right to exercise self-determination;
- The right to communicate freely;
- The right to participate in the review of one’s care plan, and to be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or change of status in the facility; and
- The right to voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal.
If a nursing homes wishes to participate in the Medicare and/or Medicaid program – programs that pay the bill for over half of all current nursing home residents – a facility must meet federal residents’ rights requirements. Most states, including North Dakota, also have state level laws that protect nursing home residents. The Nursing Home Reform Law delineates very specific reasons why a nursing home resident may be evicted, including:
- The discharge is necessary for the resident’s welfare and his or her needs cannot be met in the facility.
- The resident’s health has improved and no longer needs the facility’s services.
- The resident is endangering the safety of others.
- The resident is endangering the health of others.
- The resident has failed to pay for (or to have paid under Medicare or Medicaid) a stay at the facility.
- The facility ceases to operate.
Indiana Long-Term Care Facility Rights
In addition to your rights under the NHRL, the State of Indiana also provides nursing home residents with rights with regard to transfer or discharge from the facility. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, if you are a resident of a long-term care facility, the facility must permit you to remain in the facility and not transfer or discharge you unless:
- It is necessary for your welfare and your needs cannot be met in the facility.
- Your health has improved sufficiently so you no longer need the services provided by the facility.
- The safety of individuals in the facility is endangered due to your clinical or behavioral status.
- The health of other individuals in the facility is endangered.
- You fail, after reasonable and appropriate notice, to pay for (or to have paid under Medicare or Medicaid) a stay at the facility.
- The facility ceases to operate.
You have the right to refuse to transfer to another room in the facility if the purpose of the transfer is to relocate a resident of a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) from the distinct part of the institution that is a SNF to a part of the institution that is not a SNF or to relocate a resident of a Nursing Facility (NF) from the distinct part of the institution that is a NF to a distinct part of the institution that is a SNF, solely for the convenience of staff.
Furthermore, the facility must provide written information regarding their policy about bed holds and return to the facility. The facility must provide you with written notice before you are to be transferred or discharged from the facility and include how you can appeal decisions to the Indiana State Department of Health.
Contact Carmel Elder Law Attorney
For more information, please join us for a FREE upcoming seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about your rights as a resident of a long-term care facility, contact an experienced Carmel elder law attorney at Frank & Kraft by calling (317) 684-1100 to schedule an appointment.