Facility Residents Rights
I enjoy educating people about their legal rights and how to protect them so they can make informed decisions. People who choose to live in a Florida assisted living facility (ALF) or a skilled nursing facility (SNF) have rights under federal and state law. I advocate for you and your legal rights by:
- Reviewing admissions agreements so anyone who signs the agreement for you (i.e. a spouse, adult child) does not become legally financially responsible for guaranteeing payment.
- Reviewing admission agreements and counseling you about the dangers of agreeing to use arbitration if a legal issue arises between you and the residential care facility.
- Counseling you or your medical advocate on your rights under Medicare.
- Suggesting reasonable accommodations that are required to be made for residents.
Did you know that each county has an ombudsman appointed by the Governor? The purpose and mission of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is to improve the quality of life for all Florida long-term care residents by advocating and protecting their health, safety, welfare and rights. Contact the local ombudsman, as well as our firm, if you suspect a violation of resident’s rights by clicking here. http://ombudsman.myflorida.com/ You can file a complaint which they will investigate.
If someone you love has been injured while residing in a residential facility contact my office and we can refer you to trial attorneys who can review and assess the situation to determine whether there is a civil cause of action.
Federal and state law provides specific grounds under which a licensed nursing facility can discharge a resident with notice. Some of the grounds include:
- the transfer or discharge is necessary to meet the resident's welfare and the resident's welfare cannot be met in the facility
- the transfer or discharge is appropriate because the resident's health has improved sufficiently so the resident no longer needs the services provided by the facility
- the safety of individuals in the facility is endangered
- the health of individuals in the facility would otherwise be endangered
- the resident has failed, after reasonable and appropriate notice, to pay or to have paid under Medicare or Medicaid for a stay at the facility or
- the facility ceases to operate or is decertified.
You are entitled to receive a Notice of Discharge and it must provide for transfer to an appropriate location. If you do not receive a written notice or, if it is defective (it does not specify the basis for discharge or provide for proper transfer) it should be appealed. If you file a notice of appeal within ten (10) days of receiving the notice, we may be able to prevent your discharge until a hearing is held and a legal ruling is made. Please contact me as soon as you receive the Notice of Discharge – do not delay!