Data Suggests Lax Nursing Home Resident Rights Enforcement

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Nursing homes are required to respect their patients and properly care for them but recent reports have shown that most facilities are not following these guidelines and are consistently violating patients’ rights and putting them at risk.

The Long-Term Community Care Coalition recently published the results of its analysis of nationwide nursing home citation data from 2018 to 2020. The organization’s report, titled “Broken Promises,” found that whereas Long-Term Care Ombudsmen receive complaints about resident rights violations more than most other violations, only 2% of citations during the period in question were for resident rights violations.

Federal regulations require nursing homes to treat residents with respect and dignity, and to care for them in a “in a manner and in an environment that promotes maintenance or enhancement of their quality of life, recognizing each resident’s individuality.” Nursing homes are also required to protect and promote resident rights and to provide equal access to quality care. 

Despite these regulations, the LTCCC states, “, violations of these rights are consistently the most widespread concern reported to the LTC Ombudsman Programs across the country.” Additionally, the LTCCC’s analysis found “the equivalent of” 1.5 resident rights citations per 1,000 residents. Of those citations—a total of 5,905—only 1.3% were categorized as causing harm to the resident or residents in question. The LTCCC explains that nursing homes are unlikely to receive penalties for providing inadequate care unless a citation is classified as causing harm or putting a resident in jeopardy. 

“Practically speaking,” the LTCCC concludes, “this means that nursing homes will get paid for treatment that violates the rights of their residents and not have to worry about incurring fines or penalties for providing demeaning care or services.” One of the states with the lowest rates of resident rights citations was New York.

For more information about nursing homes’ resident rights citations, read the LTCCC’s report here. 

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC work diligently to protect the rights of nursing home residents.  Please contact us to discuss in the event you have a potential case involving neglect or abuse.

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