In 1987 Ronald Reagan signed a comprehensive nursing home abuse law titled the Nursing Home Reform Act. This nursing home abuse law is part of a larger act called the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1987. This nursing home abuse law was passed in response to research conducted by the Institute of Medicine at the request of the United States Congress. The Institute of Medicine discovered alarming rates of abuse, neglect, and inadequate care perpetrated by nursing homes against the patients in their charge.
The most fundamental principle of the 1987 nursing home abuse law is that nursing homes have a responsibility to provide services that facilitate every resident’s attainment and maintenance of the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychological well being. The nursing home abuse law set national minimum standards of care that are legally required of all long term care and nursing home facilities that receive federal funding.
The nursing home abuse law states that this care will be administered in accordance with established nursing home and regulatory agency protocols. This law places importance on resident’s quality of life in addition to the quality of care they receive. The nursing home abuse law requires that resident’s daily living activities, such as walking, bathing, and eating, be maintained and improved through nursing home care practices.
The nursing home abuse law also grants a number of other rights to nursing home and long term care residents. Physical and chemical restraint restrictions were implemented by the nursing home abuse law. A resident’s right to maintain independent financial funds was also included in the nursing home abuse law. Resident’s freedom to communicate, to submit grievances without reprisal, and community and family interaction rights were also expressly extended to nursing home patients through the OBRA nursing home abuse law.
The nursing home abuse law is enforced by Long Term Care Ombudsman Programs established by the federal government under the OBRA. Agents from this organization routinely evaluate nursing home and long term care facilities to ensure compliance with all provisions of the federal nursing home abuse law. These enforcement organizations speak with nursing home professionals, residents, and their families. The nursing home abuse law requires that nursing home professionals complete a minimum level of training so that they are able to offer the highest level of care. These professionals are required to develop an individual plan of care for each and every resident in their charge. These plans are evaluated by the ombudsman upon evaluation.
Like all the cases I take, Nursing Home Negligence & Abuse cases are handled on a contingency basis with no obligation or fee for the first consultation.