For further information
about nursing home rights, visit the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform website. NCCNHR is a group of consumers and advocates who define and
achieve quality for people with long-term care needs
When you move into a nursing
home, you do not lose any rights granted to you as a citizen of the United States. You are still protected by the Constitution
and the Bill of Rights. You continue to have the right to:
enter into contracts;
manage your own personal
and financial affairs;
persons outside the home;
be free from physical,
mental, and sexual abuse; and
make your own decisions
about medical treatment.
If you have a guardian,
the guardian exercises your rights. If you have an attorney in fact (representative) under a power of attorney or a health
care representative, your representative can exercise your rights.
The Right to Information
Facilities must provide:
a copy of the latest
survey results and any plan of correction in a public area;
advance notice of
changes in your room or roommate;
a written copy of
your rights, including the right to file a complaint and how to contact the ombudsman and the state survey agency;
about services covered under the basic rate and extra charges; and
written and oral
information concerning Medicaid and Medicare.
Nursing facilities must
respond to your needs and concerns as expressed by you or your legal representative. You have to right to:
choose your personal
receive full information,
in advance, and participate in your care plan and treatment decisions;
accommodations for your individual needs and preferences;
without reprisal and receive a prompt response, and
organize and participate
in resident groups.
You have the right to:
participate in social,
religious, and community activities as you choose;
have privacy during
medical treatment, personal visits, written and telephone communications; and
have all of your
records kept confidential.
You may only be transferred
for one of the following reasons:
the transfer is necessary
to protect your welfare.
your needs cannot
be met in the facility.
your health has improved
so that nursing care is no longer needed.
The health or safety
of yourself or others is endangered.
you have failed,
after reasonable notice, to pay for your care.
Written notice of
Involuntary Relocation must be given on the form specified by the State Department of Health. You and your representative
have the following notice rights:
You have the right to receive
visitors and to refuse visitors. The Federal Reform Law provides for:
by a personal physician and representatives from state and federal agencies, including the ombudsman program;
by relatives, if you consent;
by others with "reasonable" restrictions subject to your consent;
by groups, subject to your consent; and
access by ombudsman
to records with your consent.
Discrimination in treatment
of residents is prohibited and applicants for admission are protected from fraudulent activities. Facilities must:
Have identical policies
regardless of source of payment;
on how to apply for Medicaid;
not request, require
or encourage residents to waive your rights concerning Medicaid; and
If your facility is a Medicaid
provider, not transfer or discharge solely because payment source has changed from private pay to Medicaid;
Not require guarantor
of payment; and
not "charge, solicit,
accept or receive gifts, money donations, or other considerations" as a precondition for admission or continued stay for persons
eligible for Medicaid.
You have the right to manage your own money. If you request the facility to manage your funds, the facility
may or may not;
keep funds over $50
in an interest bearing account;
keep your funds and
facility funds separate;
Keep and provide
you with complete and accurate accounting, at least quarterly, and upon request;
not charge for services
of items covered by Medicaid;
upon your death,
turn funds over to the administrator of your estate; and
purchase a surety
bond or provide other assurance of security.
Restraint and Abuse
You are protected from
physical, mental and social abuse and the inappropriate use of physical and chemical restraints, including freedom from:
physical or mental abuse, corporal punishment, or involuntary seclusion;
restraints used for discipline or convenience of staff;
restraints used without a physicians written orders to treat medical symptoms; and
drugs used to control mood, mental status, or behavior without a written physicians order
in the plan of care for a specific medical symptom. An external expert must annuallyreview the appropriateness of the prescriptions