In one of our previous posts, we began discussing recognition of nursing home neglect and how nursing home care is regulated. As we mentioned, federal law specifies the standards of care for facilities accepting Medicare and Medicaid funding. States also regulate nursing home care. Here in Alabama, the agency that regulates licensing and/or certification of health care facilities, including nursing homes, is the Bureau of Health Provider Standards.
The bureau is very specific about the standards that apply to various aspects of nursing home care, including resident assessment, nursing and physician services, pharmacy services, quality of care, dietary and dental services and the rights of residents when it comes to admission, transfer, and discharge. Each of these, of course, is an area where nursing home facilities can fail.
For those living in nursing home facilities, it is important to understand that they have rights. According to the Bureau of Health Provider Standards, residents have the general right to “a dignified existence, self determination, and communication with access to persons and services inside and outside the facility.” Residents also have the right to exercise their rights without being subjected to discrimination, punishment, coercion or interference from the facility.
Whenever a resident feels that they may not be receiving the quality of care they deserve, it is best to first attempt working the problem out with the facility. When this does not yield results, it may be necessary to get an attorney involved. An attorney experienced in the area of nursing home neglect can make sure that steps are taken to correct the problem and compensate the victim.