Nursing Home Resident Rights in Ohio: What Nursing Homes Can’t Do
Whether you’re looking for a nursing home or assisted living facility in Ohio or trying to evaluate a home where a loved one is staying, it’s helpful to know the “rules” by which the nursing home must play. Every family wants to protect their loved one in a nursing home from elder abuse. But it can be confusing to figure out what nurse home abuse actually is. A good place to start is knowing your assisted living facility or nursing home resident rights in Ohio.
Ohio nursing homes must adhere to both federal and state bills of residents’ rights, which outline specific standards of care for residents. However, it’s equally important to learn what the law prevents nursing homes from doing. This knowledge can help you protect yourself or your loved ones during a stay of any length in a skilled nursing facility (SNF).
8 Things Ohio Nursing Homes Can’t Do When It Comes to Resident Rights
- Nursing homes can’t discriminate. Federal law prohibits skilled nursing facilities from admissions discrimination, which means to deny admission to residents based on race, color, religion, age, sex, or any other protected characteristic. Insurance based admissions discrimination is becoming particularly wide-spread.
- Nursing homes can’t charge up-front fees. Some types of retirement homes, like assisted living, may require large deposits before moving in. Skilled nursing facilities may not charge these fees.
- Nursing homes can’t guess about a resident’s health. Staff members must give health assessments to all residents every day. These assessments cover everything from physical and mental health to self-care and decision-making abilities and are an important basis for determining treatment plans and Medicare eligibility.
- Nursing homes can’t confiscate financial control. Regardless of their mental state, residents cannot be required to relinquish control of their finances. They may give written consent to allow nursing homes to manage their personal funds. However, in return, they must receive quarterly statements and access to their accounts.
- Nursing homes can’t restrict human rights. Federal law protects each resident’s right to be treated with dignity and respect. This means that, within the reasonable limits of their care plan, residents have the freedom of choice to make their own decisions, as outlined in the federal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law. This includes bedtime and meals, privacy and personal property, visitors and interpersonal relationships.
- Nursing homes can’t hide the truth. Nurses may want to sugarcoat bad news when talking to someone in poor mental or physical health. But that’s not technically legal; all nursing home residents have the right to know their true diagnoses and prescriptions. This also means that nursing homes can’t refuse to share full medical records with patients.
- Nursing homes can’t conceal shortened Medicare coverage. Sometimes Medicare coverage ends earlier than expected because the nursing care is no longer deemed medically reasonable and necessary. Per the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, nursing homes must notify residents when and why financial assistance is ending before they can continue to bill charges. Beyond this, however, Medicare does not require nursing homes to keep track of anyone’s Medicare benefits.
- Nursing homes can’t punish you for complaints. Whether you’re the resident or a caregiver, you have the right to complain about any problems in a nursing home, from falls to bedsores to improper feeding. If the nursing home’s management doesn’t satisfactorily address your complaints, here’s how to report nursing home abuse in Ohio.
Nursing Facility Resident Rights & Facility Responsibilities – What Happens When Things Change?
Nursing home resident rights and facility responsibilities are revised from time to time. What you might not know is that skilled nursing facilities are required by law to notify residents and their representatives in a prompt manner when resident rights change under Federal or State law. Per the Ohio Health Care Association, “SNFs are required to obtain a written acknowledgement that they have informed residents in writing of their rights, and any amendments to those rights. In addition, it is recommended that SNFs inform their current employees of these rights as well, in compliance with Ohio law.”
As an Ohio Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer, The Nancy C. Iler Law Firm Seeks Answers, Compensation, and Justice on Behalf of Residents and Their Families.
If you are unclear about your loved one’s resident rights, the responsibilities of their facility, or feel like their rights have been violated by their Ohio nursing home or assisted living facility, I invite you to call me for a free consultation. My firm accepts nursing home negligence, abuse, injury, and wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis. There is no fee for our firm unless compensation is recovered.
When care falls short and results in life-threatening injury, abuse, or wrongful death, the injured and their families need a strong advocate. I and my firm are committed to making a difference by holding corporations accountable for providing essential care, supervision, and safety to nursing home residents.