Patient Rights in a Virginia Nursing Home

Nursing home abuse is a major problem in the United States, and each year, countless individuals are subject to physical, emotional, and sexual violence in these facilities. In an effort to eliminate these abuses and ensure patients have a say in their care, many states have enshrined the rights of nursing patients in the law.

If you believe a staff member or employee violated your patient rights in a Virginia nursing home, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Your civil rights are important, and they should be respected at all times. These rights are guaranteed by the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act.

What is the Nursing Home Reform Act?

According to the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, patients have a right to a high quality of life. Nursing homes, if they receive Medicaid or Medicare funds, must treat their patients in a manner that promotes dignity, self-determination, and personal choice. The law also requires nursing homes and other assisted living facilities to provide an environment that positively contributes to the physical and psychological well-being of their patients.

Upon acceptance to a home, each patient and their family members or legal representative are entitled to a written plan of care. This plan of care must provide detailed information regarding the treatment of the patient. Homes are also required to answer any questions a patient or their representative may have about the care plan.

Patients also have a right to information while in the care of a nursing facility. Patients must be informed of:

  • Any available services and their costs.
  • The address and phone number of their elected officials.
  • Rules and regulations of the facility.
  • Potential changes in living situation (ex: a change in roommates).
  • Federal violations and plans to correct them.

Patients must also be provided with a copy of their resident rights and any information they receive must be in a language they understand.

Care Quality and Participation

Patients also have the right to participate in their own plan of care. Nursing home residents are guaranteed adequate and appropriate care, and they must be notified of any changes in their medical condition. Patients may also participate in planning their own assessments, treatment, and discharge. Medications, treatments, and any type of restraints may also be refused.

Unfortunately, some nursing homes fall short of providing high-quality care to their patients. If a nursing home fails to provide the care its patients need, its patients have a right to file a complaint without the fear of reprisal. Complaints can be made to nursing home administrators or state agencies.

How Are the Rights of Nursing Home Patients Violated?

Patient rights in a Virginia nursing home should always be respected. Unfortunately, some nursing homes violate patient rights by:

  • Providing substandard care.
  • Hiring abusive or neglectful staff members.
  • Isolating patients from their loved ones.
  • Failing to include patients in their own plan of care.
  • Using physical or chemical restraints to control patients.

Nursing homes who engage in the actions listed above will be subject to civil and criminal penalties, such as fines, probation, and in the most extreme cases, closure.

Protect Your Patient Rights in a Virginia Nursing Home

The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 is one of the most important pieces of legislation regarding patient rights. The Act guarantees all nursing home patients the right to quality care and personal liberty. The Act also contains a specific Bill of Rights for nursing facilities to follow.

If your patient rights in a Virginia nursing home have been violated, you are probably experiencing feelings of anger and frustration. This is normal, but you may be able to take legal action against the responsible party. Contact a nursing home patient rights lawyer near you today.