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What is the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987?

July 15, 2019

After an increased number of complaints against nursing homes being filed, the government decided to do some research into patient care. In the 1980s, comprehensive research was done to see just how poorly nursing home residents were treated in the U.S.c The results of the study were quite alarming. They found that there were widespread neglect, abuse, and inadequate care being provided at a large percentage of nursing homes. So, in 1987, a law was passed called the Nursing Home Reform Act.

The purpose of this Act was to ensure that nursing home residents receive the best mental, physical and psychosocial care possible. Not only does it ensure quality care, but it also ensures a high quality of life.

Most people refer to this act as the Bill of Rights for nursing home residents. If nursing homes don’t abide by this law, they can lose their state funding for Medicare and Medicaid. They can also be shut down if their violations are severe and persistent.

What is the Nursing Home Resident Bill of Rights?

The Nursing Home Reform Act includes a specific list of nursing home residents’ Bill of Rights. These rights are something that every resident deserves. If a patient is denied any of these rights, they can file a grievance with the State.

The following are some of the rights that nursing home residents are entitled to in Columbia, South Carolina:

  • Privacy
  • Have all their physical, mental and psychosocial needs met on a daily basis
  • Have the ability to freely communicate about their care and quality of life
  • Dignity
  • Self-determination
  • Free from any mistreatment, abuse, and neglect
  • File grievances without fear of retaliation or discrimination
  • Be free from any physical restraints
  • Take an active part in their care plan
  • Be allowed to participate in family and residential groups and gatherings

If a resident or family member can file a complaint if they’re not being treated properly. If this happens, the State will go into the facility and conduct an investigation. Also, if your family member has been mistreated, you need to contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer in Columbia, South Carolina.

What Are Nursing Homes Required to Do?

In order to protect their residents’ Bill of Rights, nursing home administrators are required to make sure their home offers certain services. The administrator and the other executive directors are the ones who are responsible for making sure their facility is compliant.

All South Carolina nursing homes are required to do the following:

  • Provide access to nursing, social, and rehabilitation services
  • Make sure all residents have access to dietary and pharmacy services
  • Complete periodic assessments of all residents to identify deficiencies and medical issues
  • Draft a unique and thorough care plan for every resident
  • Provide a full-time social worker for all patients

If a nursing home fails to do these things, they can get a citation from the State. This can cause many short-term and long-term problems for the home.

What Happens if a Nursing Home Violates the Nursing Home Reform Act?

The State will conduct annual surveys of all nursing homes. Each home will be audited at least once every fifteen (15) months. If during their visit, the State identifies any issues or violation, they will issue a citation.

The home will normally be given a short period of time in which to correct any issues or resolve any grievances. If they do so properly, they may escape any significant penalties. However, if they don’t correct their issues, or have very serious issues, they’ll be subjected to stiff penalties.

The penalties assessed against a nursing home for violations of the Nursing Home Reform Act include:

  • Monitoring
  • Temporary management or conservatorship
  • Medicare or Medicaid funding and payment denial
  • Civil financial penalties and fines
  • Termination of their contract with the State
  • Being shut down

If your loved one is being abused or neglected, you need to file a complaint with the State. You can do this through the South Carolina Ombudsman’s Office. You should also report it to your local Columbia nursing home abuse lawyer.

Contact an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in South Carolina

If you or your loved one have been the victim of nursing home abuse, you need to call a nursing home lawyer in Columbia, South Carolina. Your attorney can help file your grievance. They can also help you file a claim against the nursing home.

Call and schedule your free initial consultation today. And remember – you pay nothing until you settle your claim.