Nursing home residents gain more power (Washington Post)

There’s an article in today’s Washington Post about new Medicare rules that give nursing home residents more power.

The article’s author shares these highlights of the new rules:

* Making the nursing home feel more like home: The regulations say that residents are entitled to “alternative meals and snacks . . . at non-traditional times or outside of scheduled meal times.” Residents can also choose their roommates, which may lead to siblings or same-sex couples being together. And a resident also has “a right to receive visitors of his or her choosing at the time of his or her choosing,” as long as it doesn’t impose on another resident’s rights.

* Bolstering grievance procedures.

* Challenging discharges: Residents can no longer be discharged while appealing the discharge. They cannot be discharged for nonpayment if they have applied for Medicaid or other insurance, are waiting for a payment decision or are appealing a claim denial.

If a nursing home refuses to accept a resident who wants to return from a hospital stay, the resident can appeal the decision. Also, residents who enter the hospital have a right to return to their same room, if it is available.

A state’s long-term-care ombudsman must now get copies of any involuntary discharges so the situation can be reviewed as soon as possible.

* Expanding protection from abuse.

* Ensuring a qualified staff.

Here’s a link to the article:

Health & Science
New rules give nursing home residents more power
By Susan Jaffe 
Kaiser Health News 
Washington Post
December 27, 206  at 10:44 AM