PATIENT’S BILL OF RIGHTS
By federal law, each person admitted to a nursing home has the following rights:
1. To be fully informed, as evidenced by the patient’s written acknowledgment prior to or at the time of admission and during the stay, of these rights and of all rules and regulations governing patient conduct.
2. To be fully informed prior to or at the time of admission and during the stay, of services available in the facility, and of related charges including any charges for services not covered by the facility’s basic per diem rate or not covered under Titles XVIII or XIX of the Social Security Act.
3. To be fully informed by a physician of his or her medical condition, unless medically contraindicated, and to be afforded the opportunity to participate in the planning of his or her medical treatment and to refuse to participate in experimental research.
4. To refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of such refusal.
5. To be transferred or discharged only for medical reasons or for his or her welfare or that of other patients or for nonpayment for his or her stay; to be given reasonable advance notice to ensure orderly transfer or discharge. Such action must be documented in his or her health record.
6. To be encouraged and assisted throughout his or her stay to exercise his or her rights as a patient and as a citizen, and to this end, to voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services to facility staff and/or outside representatives of his or her choice, free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.
7. To manage his or her personal financial affairs or to be given at least a quarterly accounting of financial transactions made on his or her behalf, should the facility accept his or her written delegation of this responsibility.
8. To be free from mental and physical abuse, and to be free from chemical and (except in emergencies) physical restraints, except as authorized in writing by a physician for a specified and limited period of time, or when necessary to protect the patient from injury to himself or herself and others.
9. To be assured confidential treatment of their personal and medical records, and to approve or refuse their release to any individual outside the facility except in the case of transfer to another health facility or as required by law or third party payment contract.
10. To be treated with consideration, respect and full recognition of his or her dignity and individuality, including privacy in treatment and care for his or her personal needs.
11. Not to be required to perform services for the facility that are not included for therapeutic purposes in his or her plan of care.
12. To associate and communicate privately with persons of their choice; to send and receive their personal mail unopened unless medically contraindicated.
13. To meet with and participate in the activities of social, religious and community groups at his or her discretion unless medically contraindicated.
14. To retain and use his or her personal clothing and possessions as space permits unless to do so would infringe upon the rights of other patients and unless medically contraindicated.
15. If married, to be assured privacy for visits by his or her spouse, and, if both are patients in the facility, to be permitted to share a room unless medically contraindicated.
16. To have daily visiting hours established.
17. To have members of the clergy admitted at the request of the patient or person responsible at any time.
18. To allow relatives or persons responsible to visit critically ill patients at any time, unless medically contraindicated.
19. To be allowed privacy for visits with family, friends, clergy, social workers, or for professional or business purposes.
20. To have reasonable access to telephones, both to make and receive confidential calls.