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Living in a Medicare or Medicaid-Certified Nursing Home? Know Your Rights

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Residents of Medicare or Medicaid-Certified nursing homes have several legal rights when it comes to reporting nursing home abuse or neglect. Denver personal injury attorneys strive to ensure that Colorado nursing home residents and their families know about these rights, and that they also know help is available from an experienced personal injury attorney if signs of abuse or neglect appear.

According to Denver personal injury attorneys, Medicare and/or Medicaid-certified nursing homes are required to tell each resident about his or her rights in a language the resident understands.  Just a few of these rights include:

  • The right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times.
  • The right to be protected from discrimination due to race, color, national origin, disability, age, religion, or sex.
  • The right to have your personal and health information kept private.
  • The right to receive information from Medicare and/or Medicaid, your doctors, and other health care providers in a way you understand.
  • The right to receive information about how Medicare and/or Medicaid pays your bills, what is covered, how much you must pay, and how to file a complaint or appeal with Medicare and/or Medicaid.
  • The right to have access to doctors, specialists, and hospitals, and to participate in making decisions about your medical care as far as you are able.
  • The right to file complaints, appeals, or grievances if you disagree with a Medicare or Medicaid decision or you feel you are not getting adequate care.

These rights apply to any Medicare or Medicaid program you participate in or care you receive.  Within a nursing home certified by Medicare or Medicaid, you have additional rights, including:

  • The right to participate in activities designed to meet your needs and the needs of the other residents.
  • The right not to be restrained, except when used as a last resort to protect your health and safety.  Restraints may never be used as punishment or for the convenience of nursing home staff.
  • The right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse or neglect.  If abuse or neglect is suspected, it should be reported to a nursing home, the patient’s family or next of kin, or the Colorado Department of Aging and Adult Services. For emergencies in which immediate medical attention is needed, call 911 or the local emergency number.
  • The right to make complaints about dangerous or uncomfortable conditions that do not meet your needs.  You also have the right not to be punished in any way for making these complaints.
  • The right to have your representative notified about changes in your care or your health and about other information important to your well-being.  You may also have your representative, who may be a family member or a trusted friend, participate in decisions about your care, if you so choose.
  • The right to manage your own money.  This includes the right to choose someone you trust to manage your money on your behalf.  Financial abuse can cause serious harm; you have the right to consult an experienced Colorado Springs attorney of your choice if you suspect financial abuse is occurring.

At the Denver law firm of Levine Law, our experienced personal injury attorneys represent many nursing home residents and their families in cases of abuse or neglect. Our firm knows the severity of these cases, and has the skills and resources necessary to help you receive compensation. 

August 15th, 2013 | Posted by Levine Law, on Nursing Home Abuse

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