Personal Injury & Nursing Home Abuse
Pittsburgh and Western PA

Know the Federal Nursing Home Laws

Attorney Waldman understands key regulations

Understanding your rights and the legal protections in place for nursing home residents is crucial, and we are dedicated to shedding light on these critical matters. Whether you are a concerned family member, a caregiver, or someone considering nursing home care for a loved one, you should know a few federal laws when it comes to investigating nursing home abuse and neglect.

Should you notice or encounter anything inside a care facility that is out of line with the following laws, contact Hal Waldman & Associates as soon as possible. With a wealth of experience in nursing home negligence cases, Attorney Hal Waldman is a widely considered the authority on claims involving nursing homes in Western Pennsylvania.

The Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA)

Enacted in 1987 as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) exists to protect the rights of nursing home residents and ensure and uphold top quality of care. It sets specific standards and guidelines nursing homes must follow to ensure the safety of their residents.

The NHRA protects nursing home residents from abuse and neglect and provides the right to privacy, open communication, and the freedom to express concerns without fear of consequences. The NHRA also empowers nursing home residents to participate in family and social gatherings, engage in their own care plans, and receive respectful treatment from nursing home staff.

The Older Americans Act

The Older Americans Act (OAA), established in 1965, offers several programs to enhance the lives of elderly Americans. This includes services such as:

  • Meals-on-wheels
  • Nutritional support programs
  • In-home medical care
  • Transportation
  • Legal aid
  • Elder abuse prevention programs

Federal requirements for nursing home staff

Federal requirements are put in place to maintain a high standard of care, promote consistency across different nursing homes, and protect the rights of residents. By setting minimum qualifications and training standards for staff members, the federal regulations aim to create a skilled and experienced workforce capable of addressing the unique needs of residents. The following requirements apply to Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes (which is to say, the vast majority of nursing homes).

  • Federal law requires nursing homes to have at least one Registered Nurse (RN) present for at least eight hours a day, every day.
  • Nursing homes must have a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or RN on duty 24 hours a day and employ enough staff to manage the daily operations of the facility.
  • Nursing homes are required to provide nursing aides with a minimum of 75 hours of training. However, there are no strict requirements for staff numbers. This means if a nursing home meets the basic federal requirements, the average nursing home resident may only expect about 20 minutes of nurse interaction per day on average.
  • According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the ideal amount of nurse-to-resident time involves one hour with a licensed nurse and three hours with nursing aides.

Don’t wait to stand up for your loved one’s rights. When a nursing home ignores federal regulations, it’s your loved one who experiences the consequences. Hold these facilities accountable with help from Hal Waldman & Associates. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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