Ohio Nursing Home Resident Rights

Ohio nursing home resident rights under Ohio lawA few years ago, hospitals started to post lists of “Patients’ Rights” around their facilities. In Ohio, those rights, when it comes to nursing home patients, are the law.

There is an Ohio law that lays out the rights of patients in nursing homes (O.R.C. 3721.13: Residents’ Rights). This law is ten years old. Even so, it does seem as if some Ohio nursing homes are not aware of this law, or don’t care about it.  This law is very long and complex, and requires the interpretation of a qualified and experienced Ohio nursing home attorney to interpret. If you or a loved one is being mistreated, the nursing home may be in violation of this law, with legal consequences.

But here are a few examples of parts of this Ohio nursing home law.

Nursing home residents are entitled to a safe and clean living environment, and to adequate and appropriate medical treatment and nursing care.

They have right to be free from physical, verbal, mental, and emotional abuse and to be treated at all times with courtesy, respect, and full recognition of dignity and individuality. Unless they have been adjudicated incompetent, nursing home patients have all of their civil rights.

Residents have the right to comfort and sanitation, and the right to have all reasonable requests and inquiries responded to promptly.

They have right, within certain limits, to a doctor of choice, and the right to withhold payment from any doctor that charged the patient but did not actually visit the patient. The same rights apply to a pharmacist.

Importantly, the patient has the right to be consulted about and to participate in all care plans that the nursing home will provide for the patient.

If there are any significant change in the resident’s health status, it must be reported to the resident’s sponsor. As soon as such a change is known to the home’s staff, the home shall make a reasonable effort to notify the sponsor within twelve hours.

Nursing home patients are entitled to privacy, including privacy during medical examinations, and they may refuse to be the subject of medical experiments (don’t know how that clause got in there. Scary thought).

Physical or chemical restraints may only be used for short times or in an emergency, and any such restraint lasting more than twelve hours has to be ordered by a physician. This is actually a very complicated clause that a lawyer would need to interpret.

The patient has the right to use alcohol and the right to use tobacco under house rules. The resident also has the right to get up and go to sleep at any time, as long as meals and the other patients are not disturbed.

Unless there is a documented legal reason not to, each patient has the right to unrestricted and private communication with family, with social workers, and with anybody else. These communications include visits at any hour, mail and telephone privacy, private spousal visits (or a shared room if both are residents), and the right to “knock before entering” if the door is closed.

Financially, a nursing home patient has the right to be free from financial exploitation, and to have all of the rates and costs of the home explained. The patient has the right to an individual financial life, and to all of his or her financial records that are kept by the nursing home.

The patient cannot be transferred without the patient’s permission, but that is subject to a number of exceptions (again, please talk to a lawyer about this).

Patients have the right to voice grievances to anyone, including a patient’s rights advocate.

If you have questions about Ohio nursing home laws, nursing home resident rights or nursing home abuse, please Contact Us by calling 1-800-297-9191 for a FREE consultation with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney or send us a Blog Message to schedule a time to talk. Please also visit http://www.stopohionursinghomeabuse.com for more information on Ohio nursing home abuse and nursing home negligence.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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4 Comments on “Ohio Nursing Home Resident Rights”

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