Skilled Care Patient Rights


The skilled patient has the right to a dignified existence, self-determination and communication with and access to persons and services inside and outside the facility. A facility must protect and promote the rights of each skilled patient resident, including each of the following:

The skilled patient has the right to be fully informed in language that he or she can understand of his or her total status, including, but not limited to, his or her medical condition.

The skilled patient has the right to refuse treatment, to refuse to participate in experimental research and to formulate an advance directive.

The facility must inform each skilled patient who is entitled to Medicaid benefits, in writing, at the time of admission to the nursing facility, or when the skilled patient becomes eligible for Medicaid of:
          -The items and services that are included in nursing facility services under the State plan and for which the skilled patient may not
          be charged;
          -Those other items and services the facility offers and for which the skilled patient may be charged, and the amount of charges for
          those services; and
               Inform each skilled patient when changes are made to the items and services specified above.

The facility must inform each skilled patient, before or at the time of admission and periodically during the skilled patient's stay, of any charges for services not covered under Medicare or by the facility's per diem rate.

The skilled patient has the right to choose a personal attending physician.

The skilled patient has the right to be fully informed in advance about care and treatment and of any changes in that care or treatment that may affect the skilled patient's well-being.

The skilled patient has the right, unless adjudged incompetent or otherwise found to be incapacitated under the laws of the State, to participate in planning care and treatment or changes in care and treatment.

The skilled patient has the right to personal privacy and confidentiality for his or her personal and clinical records.
          -Personal privacy includes accommodations, medical treatment, written and telephone communications, personal care, visits and
          meetings of family and resident groups. This does not require facility to provide a private room for each resident.
          -The skilled patient may approve or refuse the release of personal and clinical records to any individual outside the facility except
          for certain situations.
          -The skilled patient's right to refuse release of personal and clinical records does not apply when:
               The skilled patient is transferred to another health care institution.
               Record release is required by law.

The skilled patient has the right to:
          -Refuse to perform services for the facility
          -Perform services for the facility, if he or she chooses when:
               The facility has documented the need or desire for work in the care plan.
          The plan specifies the nature of the services performed and whether the services are voluntary or paid.
               Compensation for paid services is at or above prevailing rates.
               The skilled patient agrees to the work arrangement described in the plan of care.

The skilled patient has the right to privacy in written communications including the right to:
          -Send and promptly receive mail that is unopened.
          -Have access to stationary, postage and writing implements at the skilled patient's own expense.

The skilled patient has the right and the facility must provide immediate access to any skilled patient by the following:
          -Any representative of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
          -Subject to the skilled patient's right to deny or withdraw consent at any time, immediate family or other relatives of the resident.
          -Subject to reasonable restrictions and the skilled patient's right to deny or withdraw consent at any time others who are visiting
          with the consent of the resident.

The skilled patient has the right to retain and use personal possessions, including some furnishings, and appropriate clothing as space permits, unless to do so would infringe upon the rights or health and safety of other residents.

The skilled patient has the right to share a room with his or her spouse when married residents live in the same facility and both spouses consent to the arrangement.

The skilled patient has the right to be free from any physical or chemical restraints imposed for purposes of discipline or convenience, and not required to treat the skilled patient's medical symptoms.

The skilled patient has the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical and mental abuse as well as corporal punishment and involuntary seclusion.