Minimizing Liability: Understanding Legal Obligations of Nursing Homes

Nursing home employees strive to provide the best daily care for ailing residents. While it’s common for the loved ones of nursing homes to be concerned over their well-being and care, it’s important for both parties to understand the legal limitations set forth by Medicare and governing agencies. In this article, we’re going to explore the lines that are drawn for these professionals and list the things that nursing homes cannot do, as well as what processes they are obligated to uphold. In addition to sharing this information with your clients, protect their operation with a Nursing Home Professional Liability Insurance policy.

They cannot deny an applicant based on discrimination.

Federal law prohibits nursing homes from rejecting applicants based on race, sex, class, age or religion. These classes are protected by law and allow anyone who feels they were denied based on these factors to report them to regulating agencies. In addition, fee structure and care are to be written out and provided before any resident moves into a facility.

Fair treatment.

This is a huge area of liability for nursing homes. Federal law protects nursing home residents’ “right to be treated with dignity and respect,” which includes making decisions such as what time to go to bed and get up, what time to eat meals, and what activities to do during the day, as long as these decisions don’t conflict with the care plan. Residents aren’t allowed to be verbally or physically abused, medicated with drugs that aren’t part of the treatment plan, restrained physically (unless they pose a danger to themselves or others), involuntarily isolated from others or to have their property used or taken by staff, other residents or anyone else working at or visiting the facility. Patients have the right to privacy and to personal property, which includes being allowed to open their own mail and to have private phone conversations, says Investopedia.

In addition, residents are allowed to see family whenever they’d like, as well as refuse to see those they won’t wish to visit.

Treatment plan.

Each nursing home is required to evaluate a resident upon moving in to determine a treatment plan that coincides with their physical and mental health, ability to make decisions, speak, and take care of themselves. Nursing home facilities are eligible to make recommendations to resident’s ongoing care if and when their conditions change, especially as it relates to Medicare.

Medical treatment.

All nursing homes are required to provide the resident with their medical records, as well as provide a detailed description of their diagnosis and their prescriptions.

About Genesee General

At Genesee General, we strive to provide quality insurance solutions for the assisted living sector. Our longstanding expertise has allowed us to successfully serve your clients for over three decades. For more information about our products, we invite you to contact us today at (800) 282- 8755.