Residents’ Rights under the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987

As our Baltimore, Maryland nursing home injury attorneys discussed in a recent blog, under the federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, (NHRA), all residents living in nursing homes are entitled to receive quality care and attention in an environment that improves and maintains their highest physical, mental health and psychosocial well being.

According to AARP, in 1986, Congress ordered a nursing home study to be performed by the Institute of Medicine, IOM. The study reportedly revealed widespread nursing home negligence, abuse, and substandard care. The IOM proposed massive reforms, a large majority of which became law in the passing of the NHRA, which is part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation act of 1987, (OBRA).

The NHRA secures quality care by requiring certain nursing home services to every resident and by establishing standards for these services. Required services include, periodic assessments of each resident, pharmaceutical, rehabilitation, and social services, a care plan for each resident that is comprehensive, and the services of a full-time social worker if there are more than 120 beds in a nursing home.

A Bill of Rights was also established under the NHRA to secure quality care for each resident. Under the Resident’s Bill of Rights, a resident has the right to freedom of nursing home neglect, abuse and mistreatment, and the right to treatment that is free from physical restraints. Under the act, residents and patients also have the right to privacy, the right to be treated with dignity, the right communicate freely, the right to have medical, social, physical and psychological needs accommodated, the right to exercise self determination, and the right to participate in reviewing their own plan, with full disclosure in advance about any changes in treatment, care, or status change within the nursing home. Nursing home residents are also entitled to communicate any problems without experiencing any discrimination or retaliation.

Lebowitz and Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers represent victims of nursing home abuse and negligence. Contact our attorneys today online, or at 1-800-654-1949 for a free consultation.

The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, AARP Public Policy Institute, February 2001
History of Nursing Homes, Nursing Home Abuse Resource

Related Web Resources:

Institute of Medicine (IOM)

National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

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