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How the passage of the Nursing Home Reform Act changed nursing home care

In the 1980s, a study was conducted on the quality of nursing home care. The results revealed a prevalence of resident abuse and neglect. As a result, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act
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    January 28, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- During the late 1980s, the Institute of Medicine, a nonprofit organization that offers opinions on issues within the science, medical and health fields, conducted a study on the quality of care nursing home residents received under the U.S. Medicare and Medicaid system.

The results of the investigation were astonishing. The data revealed that there was a prevalence of resident abuse and neglect in nursing homes all across the country.

As a result, Congress began to implement stricter regulations for certain nursing homes. The Nursing Home Reform Act was one of many eventually signed into law.

Understanding the Nursing Home Reform Act

The NHRA, as it's known, was passed in 1987. Specifically, the law outlines guidelines for entities that receive funding through Medicare or Medicaid.

Part of the law established a set of both rights and services that must be provided to nursing home residents. These are known as the "Nursing Home Reform Act's Bill of Rights."

Residents' Rights

The list of rights stipulated under the NHRA is essentially designed to make sure nursing home residents are cared for properly. They include but are not limited to the right to:
- Privacy
- Unreserved speech or communication
- Freedom to voice concerns or grievances
- Participation in treatment and care plans

Mandated services

Along with these rights, the law also mandates that qualified nursing home facilities provide residents with services that meet certain standards. They include but are not limited to:
- Dietary, pharmaceutical, and rehabilitation services
- Comprehensive, individualized care plans
- Social workers (for certain facilities)

Seeking recourse for nursing home abuse

The Nursing Home Reform Act and other laws regulating nursing home entities have made enormous strides toward protecting residents and making sure they receive decent and proper treatment.

Unfortunately, there is still a lot that needs to be done. Nursing home abuse and neglect continues to take place today in facilities all across the country.

Proactive measures by family members

Family members are encouraged to take proactive measures to make sure their loved ones are treated fairly and decently.

Media outlets have reported that some families are installing secret "granny cams," as they are referred to, inside the rooms of their loved ones so they can keep a close eye on their treatment. In some instances, this method has worked. These secret cameras have forced some entities to put forth additional effort in order to make sure high quality residential care is provided.

Others, however, have consulted with legal professionals about actions they should take regarding the suspected mistreatment of their loved ones.

Article provided by Trevett, Cristo, Salzer & Andolina P.C
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