New York Nursing Home Laws
Nursing home accountability is a subject near and dear to our hearts. All across New York, thousands of seniors reside in hundreds of nursing homes, and yet the quality of life in these homes is difficult to discern from the outside.
We know that nursing home abuse and neglect run rampant throughout the United States — a fact that the federal government is equally well aware of, though its attempts to fight back have had mixed results.
The State of New York understands the problem, too. State regulators work hard to hold nursing homes to certain minimum standards. These regulations represent society’s basic expectations for safety, security, and comfort for the elderly.
Unfortunately, nursing homes routinely breach these standards and violate state and/or federal regulations, dishonoring and potentially endangering the seniors who’ve been entrusted to their care.
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we care about the dignity, contentment, and health of our great state’s seniors. As New York nursing home abuse attorneys, we are dedicated to seeking justice for the elderly and their families, and that often means taking legal action in response to violations of state or federal law.
Nursing home abuse is insidious, and family members often aren’t sure if it’s happening. To help you understand some of the state’s most fundamental expectations, we’ve outlined a few of the nursing home regulations in New York below.
Keep in mind, though, that this list is not comprehensive, and legal action is often available even if there isn’t an applicable regulation at play. Please talk to one of our New York nursing home abuse attorneys before making any decisions about your rights (or the rights of a loved one).
Applicable Federal Nursing Home Regulations in New York
The federal government requires any nursing home receiving federal aid to fulfill all the following, at a minimum:
- 24-hour access to an emergency physician
- Accurate and well-maintained clinical records for each resident
- Adequate supervision
- Assistive devices to prevent accidents and aid with any problems in vision or hearing
- Choice of activities, schedules, and health care for each resident (federal law recognizes a senior’s right to choose in these regards)
- Healthy maintenance of residents’ body weight, protein, fluid levels, and other markers of nutritional health
- Individual assessments of each resident’s functional capacity (to be conducted no later than 14 days after admission, and then again periodically after that — at least more than once every 12 months and after any significant change in the resident’s physical or mental condition)
- Individual plan of care for each resident, including measurable objectives and timetables for meeting each resident’s needs, as identified in the individual assessments referenced above. This care plan must be developed within 7 days after an assessment is completed and must also be periodically reviewed and revised by qualified persons.
- Pharmaceutical services (prescribing, acquiring, dispensing, and administering medications)
- Physician supervision for each resident
- Sufficient nursing staff and related services
- Treatment and prevention for a resident’s deteriorating ability in any of these areas: bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, transferring and ambulating, using toilets, maintaining personal or oral hygiene, seeing, hearing, speaking or using language, functionally communicating, and maintaining good nutrition. If the resident is unable to carry out these activities and such inability can’t be treated, then the nursing home must provide these services for the resident.
- Treatments for incontinence, dehydration, and prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
In addition to these specific requirements, the federal regulations also impose a more general duty on nursing homes to respect each resident’s dignity and individuality. Residents are entitled to the highest practicable state of physical, mental, and psychosocial wellbeing.
Notably, nursing homes are also required to ensure that residents are free of any significant medication errors.
Additional New York State Regulations
New York has its own regulations, too. It is important to note that while New York law may strengthen residents’ rights and protections, the state is never permitted to release a nursing home from its responsibilities under federal law.
In New York, the aforementioned individual assessments must be made at least quarterly (and more often, if needed). Additionally, the requirements for record-keeping and for developing a Plan of Care are stricter in New York than under federal law. Other state regulations apply as well.
How Our New York Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Can Help
Given the breadth of state and federal regulation, nearly every aspect of the nursing home experience is subject to strict oversight. If you suspect that a nursing home has acted inappropriately, it may very well be liable for a violation of state and/or federal law.
But even without a relevant regulation, nursing home negligence may represent a more general violation of New York personal injury law. Any unreasonable, unfair, or dangerous action (or inaction) by a nursing home is cause for concern.
At Kaplan Lawyers, PC, we have many years of experience in handling cases of nursing home abuse and neglect, ranging from common violations to shocking instances of egregious cruelty. Whatever your situation, we’re here to help in any way we can.
If you believe that you have been or a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse in New York, our attorneys can help. Contact us today to schedule a completely free consultation. Remember: We will not charge for our services unless we are able to recover compensation on your behalf.