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Protection of Legal Rights: Protections for Nursing Home, Assisted Living and CCRC Residents Presented by Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. Certified Elder Law.

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Presentation on theme: "Protection of Legal Rights: Protections for Nursing Home, Assisted Living and CCRC Residents Presented by Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. Certified Elder Law."— Presentation transcript:

1 Protection of Legal Rights: Protections for Nursing Home, Assisted Living and CCRC Residents Presented by Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. Certified Elder Law Attorney Registered Guardian NJ Super Lawyer in Elder Law Founding Member, Academy of Special Needs Planners

2 I. Nursing Home Residents Overview of Federal Protections: Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA): requires nursing homes that participate in Medicare or Medicaid to provide various patient rights. 42 U.S.C. §1395i-3, 42 U.S.C. §1396r; 42 C.F.R. §483.

3 Overview of State Protections: In New Jersey, nursing home residents are also provided with protections under statutes and regulations. N.J.S.A. 30:13; N.J.A.C. 8:39-1 et set.; 8:85-1 et seq.

4 State Protections (contd): New Jersey has also established the New Jersey Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly to preserve and promote residents rights. N.J.S.A. 52:72G-1.

5 Federal Protections: Quality of Life Nursing home must care for its residents in a manner and in an environment that promotes maintenance or enhancement of each residents quality of life and dignity and respect in full recognition of his or her individuality. 42 C.F.R. §483.15; see also N.J.S.A. 30:13-5; N.J.A.C. 8:

6 Federal Protections: Right of Self-Determination Nursing home residents are guaranteed the right of self-determination and participation. 42 C.F.R. §483.15; N.J.A.C. 8:

7 Right of Self-Determination (contd) Resident has the right to choose activities and health care consistent with his/her interests or care plans. 42 C.F.R. §

8 Right to Interact and Make Decisions: Residents may interact with others of their choosing; they may make decisions about significant aspects of their lives. 42 C.F.R. §

9 Rights Regarding Care Plan: Residents, along with their families, may participate in developing and implementing the residents care plans. N.J.A.C. 8:

10 Social/Religious Rights Residents must be allowed to participate in resident/family groups, and be provided with private space to do so. 42 C.F.R. §

11 Social/Religious Rights (contd): As long as they do not interfere with other residents rights, residents may participate in social, religious, and community activities of their choosing. 42 C.F.R. §483.15; N.J.S.A. 30:13-5; N.J.A.C. 8:

12 Reasonable Accommodation: Residents have the right to receive reasonable accommodation of their needs or preferences (assuming other residents health/safety would not be put at risk). 42 C.F.R. §483.15; N.J.S.A. 30:13-5; N.J.A.C. 8:

13 Environment: Residents must be given a safe, clean, comfortable, and home-like environment, allowing [them] to use … personal belongings to the extent possible, as well as housekeeping services. 42 C.F.R. §483.15; N.J.S.A. 30:13-5; N.J.A.C. 8:

14 Activities of Daily Living: The facility must ensure that residents abilities in ADLs do not decline, except when such decline is clinically unavoidable. 42 C.F.R. §483.15; see N.J.A.C. 8:

15 ADLs (contd): The facility must ensure that residents who cannot carry out ADLs receive necessary services to maintain good nutrition, grooming, personal/oral hygiene. 42 C.F.R. §483.15; see N.J.A.C. 8:

16 Assistance with Eating: If residents need assistance with eating, New Jersey regulations require that, for each meal, staff is assigned to assist those residents. N.J.A.C. 8:

17 Restraints: Nursing home residents have the right to be free from any physical or chemical restraints imposed for purposes of discipline or convenience, and not required to treat … medical symptoms. 42 C.F.R. §483.13; see also N.J.S.A. 30:13-3; N.J.A.C. 8:

18 Right of Privacy: Nursing home residents are guaranteed the right of privacy, and the right to exercise … rights as a resident of the facility and as a citizen or resident of the United States. N.J.S.A. 30:13-5; 42 C.F.R. §

19 Right of Privacy (contd): Right of privacy includes the right to be free of interference, coercion, discrimination, and reprisal from the facility in exercising his or her rights. 42 C.F.R. §

20 Rights of Incapacitated Person: Rights of incapacitated residents are to be exercised by the guardian or other fiduciary appointed to act on the residents behalf. 42 C.F.R. §

21 Access to Quality Care: Residents must be given equal access to quality care, regardless of whether their care is paid for privately or by Medicaid. 42 C.F.R. §

22 Medicare/Medicaid Benefits: The facility is prohibited from requiring residents to represent that they are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, or that they will not apply for those benefits. 42 C.F.R. §

23 Third Party Guarantees: The facility is prohibited from requiring a third- party guarantee of payment as a condition for a residents admission, expedited admission, or continued stay at the facility. 42 C.F.R. §

24 Access to Records: The nursing home resident has the right, upon request, to access all nursing home records relating to that resident within 24 hours, and to purchase a copy of those records upon 2 business days notice, at no greater than the community standard cost. 42 C.F.R. §

25 Protections Against Involuntary Discharge The facility may not discharge the resident except under the following circumstances: (1)The transfer or discharge is necessary for the residents welfare and the residents needs cannot be met in the facility; (2)The transfer or discharge is appropriate because the residents health has improved sufficiently so that the resident no longer needs the services provided by the facility;

26 Protections Against Involuntary Discharge (contd) (3)The safety of individuals in the facility is endangered; (4)The health of individuals in the facility would otherwise be endangered; (5)The resident has failed, after reasonable and appropriate notice, to pay for (or to have paid under Medicare or Medicaid) a stay at the facility…; or (6)The facility ceases to operate. 42 C.F.R. §

27 Notice of Discharge: The facility must give the resident and family member/representative 30 days written notice, except in limited cases such as where a health or safety issue necessitates otherwise. 42 C.F.R. §

28 Ensuring Safe/Orderly Transfer: The facility must provide sufficient preparation and orientation to residents to ensure safe and orderly transfer or discharge from the facility. 42 C.F.R. §

29 Medicaid Applicants: New Jersey prohibits a Medicaid beneficiary or applicant from being involuntarily transferred for non-payment, as long as applicants income is paid as set forth in N.J.A.C. 8:

30 Adequate Alternative Placement: Involuntary transfers are prohibited unless adequate alternative placement is available. N.J.A.C. 8: ; see also N.J.A.C. 8:

31 Enforcing Federal and State Protections: Enforcing federal and state protections is often difficult and costly.

32 Complaints: Formal complaints regarding nursing home evictions have doubled over the past ten years.

33 Refusal to Readmit: Facilities often transfer [residents] to another nursing home or send them to a hospital or psychiatric facility for observation and then refuse to take them back.

34 II. Assisted Living Facility Residents: General Protections : General Protections : Main source of federal protection: Keys Amendment, 42 U.S.C. §1382e(e), widely considered to be a meaningless failure.

35 Rights Defined by Contract Therefore, an assisted living facilitys practices are largely defined by contract, rather than by law or regulation.

36 Statement of Residents Rights New Jersey requires that a statement of residents rights be posted.

37 Protections Against Involuntary Discharge Residents are entitled to 30 days written notice, except in the case of emergency, or if the resident requires a level of care higher than the facility can provide. N.J.A.C. 8:36-5.1(d), 5.14(a).

38 Grounds for Involuntary Discharge Involuntary discharge shall only be upon grounds contained in the facilitys or programs policies and procedures. N.J.A.C. 8:36-5.1(d).

39 Assisted Living Facilities: Summary Nursing home residents protections from involuntary discharges are notably lacking in the area of assisted living facilities.

40 Other Recourse: Commentators note that the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 may provide recourse against an involuntary discharge.

41 Proposed Disclosure Form: To assist consumers, an Assisted Living Disclosure form is being proposed in New Jersey: facility must identify its policies, including its discharge policies and what higher level of care criteria the facility will consider as basis for involuntary discharge.

42 III. CCRC Residents: The primary source of regulation of CCRCs is state law, but a CCRC with a nursing/AL facility must comply with applicable federal/state requirements.

43 CCRC Regulation and Financial Disclosure Act Primary focus is on the CCRCs financial stability, but Act has been interpreted as protecting residents from involuntary discharges, and guarantees residents a plenary hearing for threatened discharge. N.J.S.A. 52:27D-330.

44 Seabrook Village v. Murphy: New Jersey Supreme Court held that a CCRC resident can be discharged involuntarily only if the facility establishes just cause, as defined in N.J.S.A. 52:27D-344d and N.J.A.C. 5: (d).

45 IV. CONCLUSION Federal and state rights vary widely, depending upon the type of facility (nursing home, AL facility or CCRC). Even where protections are strong on paper, enforcement may be difficult. Therefore, thoroughly research a facility prior to admission.


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