In a skilled nursing facility, all residents have rights. Those rights are set out by regulation, primarily in 22 CCR § 72527. The regulation lists a number of rights, some of which include:
- To be fully informed of each resident’s rights and of all rules and regulations governing patient conduct.
- To be fully informed of services available in the facility and of the financial charges, including any “out of pocket” charges.
- To be fully informed by a physician of his or her total health status and to be given the opportunity to participate in the total plan of care including the identification of medical, nursing and psychosocial needs and the planning of related services.
- To consent to or to refuse any treatment or procedure.
- To be given informed consent for any before any proposed treatment or procedure. This includes the right to accept or refuse any proposed treatment or procedure.
- To be given material information for administration of psychotherapeutic drugs or physical restraints.
- To be transferred or discharged only for medical reasons, for the patient’s welfare, or for nonpayment.
- To be encouraged and assisted to exercise rights as a patient and as a citizen, and to voice grievances and recommend changes free from restraint or reprisal.
- To be free from discrimination.
- To manage personal financial affairs.
- To be free from mental and physical abuse.
- To be assured confidential treatment of financial and health records and to approve or refuse their release, except as authorized by law.
- To be treated with consideration, respect and full recognition of dignity and individuality.
- To associate and communicate privately with persons of the patient’s choice, and to send and receive personal mail unopened.
- To meet with others and participate in activities of social, religious and community groups.
- Under most circumstances, to retain and use personal clothing and possessions.
- To have daily visiting hours established.
- To have visits from members of the clergy at any time at the request of the patient or the patient’s representative.
- To have visits from persons of the patient’s choosing at any time if the patient is critically ill, unless medically contraindicated.
- To be allowed privacy for visits with family, friends, clergy, social workers or for professional or business purposes.
- To have reasonable access to telephones and to make and receive confidential calls.
If a skilled nursing facility violates those rights, the law provides for statutory damages. Under an amendment to the law, which became effective on January 1, 2022, for every violation of these rights occurring on or after March 1, 2021, the skilled nursing facility is now liable for up to $500.00 per violation. The skilled nursing facility is also liable for payment of attorney fees and costs.
Determining the totality of the state and federal violations, and working through the extent and complexity of the violations is something we at Allen Saltzman, LLP deal with virtually on a daily basis. If you are looking for experts on the violations of your rights or the rights of your loved ones, look to Allen Saltzman, LLP for assistance and guidance.