Top 10 Nursing Home Law Articles

Authored by , LegalMatch Legal Writer

Top 10 Nursing Home Law Articles

It is estimated that about 100,000 people retire every year in the United States. Once retired, many people move into retirement communities so that they can be active and relax with other people their own age. Others require more supervised care and so they move into nursing homes.

Since nursing homes take care of some of the most vulnerable members of our society, they are governed by state and federal laws. As an introduction to the legal issues associated with nursing homes, the LegalMatch Law Library has compiled a list of the Top 10 Articles on Nursing Home Law.

1. Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are governed by federal and state laws. The federal government enacted the Nursing Home Reform Act in order to prevent elder abuse and to ensure that elders in nursing homes would be taken care of.

2. Removing a Patient from a Nursing Home

Sometimes a patient in a nursing home can be a disruptive element and the nursing home might seek to remove him or her. Usually removal is not allowed except in very specific circumstances. However, the law does allow transferring the patient to another nursing home.

3. Nursing Home Liability

Since nursing homes are entrusted with caring for the elderly, they can be held liable if any of their patients are injured due to the nursing home failing to exercise reasonable care. Some common injuries that can occur in nursing homes that fail to take proper care of their patients include falling, bed sores, and burns.

4. Rights of Nursing Home Residents

Even though most nursing home residents are the elderly and some are physically incapacitated, they still have rights. Some of these rights include the right to refuse medical treatment, the right to confidentiality of all medical records, and the right to have relatives visit.

5. Nursing Home Fraud

As most elderly patients are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, Medicare/Medicaid fraud does happen in nursing homes. This can include falsifying documents in order to receive more money or billing for unnecessary tests or items. It is important to pay attention to invoices and what services are being billed if you or a family member is in a nursing home in order to avoid fraud.

6. Nursing Home Abuse

Due to the fact that the elderly are so vulnerable, they are often targeted for abuse in nursing homes. A combination of poor training and lack of resources might cause a patient to suffer from inadequate feeding or improper medical care. In recent years, news stories of theft in nursing homes have also brought to light other abuses that can occur.

7. Elder Care

When it comes to elder care, there are many different options available. Nursing homes are just one of many types of long term housing available to the elderly. It is best to get acquainted with the choices in housing available to the elderly when making the decision of long term housing after retirement.

8. Nursing Home Reform Act

Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act in 1987 in order to protect the elderly. One of the more important aspects of the Act is that it established a resident’s bill or rights, laying out all the rights residents of a nursing home have.

9. Special Proof in a Nursing Home Injury Claim

When bringing a lawsuit against a nursing home for injuries sustained while under its care, it is necessary to prove that the nursing home was at fault in order to recover. This might require hiring expert witness to testify that what the nursing home did was neither reasonable nor necessary.

10.Advance Directive

An important document to prepare when entering a nursing home is the advance directive. While the patient is still able, he or she should prepare an advance directive so doctors will know what type of medical treatment the patient is willing to receive. A patient has the right to refuse medical treatment and if he or she does not wish extraordinary measures to be used in order to prolong his or her life, then the advance directive will be written proof of that intent.

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Last Modified: 10-14-2013 10:43 AM PDT

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