When someone is admitted to a nursing home, they give up their independence and a lot of their autonomy, but they do not give up their rights. Federal and state laws offer significant protections to residents in skilled nursing facilities.
All residents and their families should be aware of patients’ rights in San Diego nursing homes. If a facility fails to honor those rights, the resident or their family should complain to the state licensing authority and consult an experienced attorney about taking appropriate legal action.
Financial Rights of Nursing Home Patients in San Diego
Federal regulations set forth at 42 Code of Federal Regulations §483.10(f)(10) establish that care facility residents have the right to manage their personal funds. Nursing homes may not require residents to deposit their funds with the nursing home, but if the resident chooses to do so, the nursing home must provide an interest-bearing account.
Nursing homes in San Diego must use the state’s Standard Admission Agreement, a contract that sets forth the obligations of the facility and the patient. The nursing home cannot require the patient to pay with private funds or force the patient to agree not to apply for Medicare or Medi-Cal. Nursing facilities cannot require a third-party guarantor as a condition of admission. A knowledgeable local attorney can further explain these financial rights for nursing home patients.
Patients’ Rights to Manage Their Medical Care
Patients may make decisions regarding their medical treatment if they are competent to do so, and they must receive the information necessary to make informed treatment decisions. A patient can refuse any treatment or procedure. They may receive care from the physician of their choice.
A patient may have access to their medical records with 24 hours’ notice and may purchase hard or electronic copies with 48 hours’ notice. Residents can approve or refuse the release of their records to another person or agency unless the release is required by law.
Patients’ Rights to Dignity, Privacy, and Social Interaction
Residents have the freedom to make and receive private phone calls and letters, and they may meet privately with whomever they choose to see. Immediate family and other people the resident has agreed to see must have immediate access to the resident when they visit.
Residents must not be subjected to physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse. A facility may not isolate a resident as a punishment. If a nursing home resident experiences a violation of these rights, a dedicated attorney in San Diego can pursue legal action against the wrongdoers.
Violations of Patient Rights are Violations of the Law
If a San Diego nursing home or long-term care facility is not honoring the resident’s rights, the resident or their family should take steps to correct the situation. Contacting the local Ombudsman is a good first step. The Ombudsman’s job is to investigate and respond to complaints about nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. They will forward matters of concern to the state licensing authority.
It is also a good idea to consult an attorney who can help protect a nursing home resident’s rights. Even the threat of legal intervention could lead a facility to change its practices and provide better care to the residents.
Work With a San Diego Attorney to Assert Your Nursing Home Rights
Residents’ rights in nursing homes are not optional or negotiable—they are the law. If a nursing home is not allowing a patient to exercise their legal rights, the facility can be held liable.
A knowledgeable attorney can explain patients’ rights in San Diego nursing homes and advise on pursuing legal action for any violations. Call today to discuss your concerns with a seasoned legal professional.