Florida nursing home laws are intact to provide patients with basic rights and standards for treatment. These laws are intended to provide health, safety, and comfort to nursing home patients. Nursing homes should be clean and supportive. Additionally, patients are entitled to services such as mental counseling and social interaction. Nursing home patients or family members of patients who feel that their rights were violated should seek immediate legal assistance to help file a claim.
Florida Nursing Home Staff Requirements
The Florida Department of Health has established a set of guidelines for the staff of each nursing home. First and foremost, each nursing home is required to be equipped with an experienced staff, as well as qualified health care practitioners. In order to be considered qualified, nursing assistants and health care practitioners should complete educational classes before being permitted to work in a nursing home.
Florida nursing home laws require that at least one physician, one dietician, and one nurse are available. Each of these staff members must be qualified and eligible under Florida’s legal requirements. Additionally, these staff members are required to pass a criminal background check that complies with Florida’s regulations and standards.
Standard of Living for Patients
Under Florida law, nursing home patients are entitled to a basic set of rights when living in a nursing home. Florida nursing home laws require that a nursing home provides patients with a “safe, clean, comfortable, and homelike environment.”
Florida nursing home laws state that facilities must provide patients with clean clothes, bedding, and living quarters. Patients should have access to clean drinking water, hot water, adequate lighting, and comfortable temperatures. Additionally, Florida nursing home laws provide patients with access to ramps, rails, and other safety features.
Nursing homes must provide patients with the following basic rights:
- Nutritious meals
- Social activities
- Daily exercise
- Access to medication
- Access to emergency care
- Mental counseling when appropriate
- Peaceful living free of abuse
Florida nursing home laws also require that patients receive privacy in treatment and caring for personal needs. Patients are permitted to close room doors and have staff members knock before entering, except in cases of emergency or when this practice is medically contraindicated. Florida nursing home law also provides patients with the right to securely and safely store and use personal possessions.
Florida nursing home laws state that patients have the right to make independent personal decisions that will not be infringed upon by others. The nursing home staff is required to encourage and assist the patient in exercising these rights as much as possible.
Florida nursing home laws provide patients with the following privacy rights:
- Access to a telephone
- Sending and receiving unopened mail
- Visiting with any person of choice during visiting hours
- Overnight visitation that complies with facility policies, doctor orders, and Medicare and Medicaid regulations, without the loss of the patient’s bed
Florida Nursing Home Abuse Guide
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration created the Florida Nursing Home Guide. This consumer-friendly guide allows patients and their families to compare and evaluate different nursing homes in Florida. It is required to contain contact information and other pertinent information about every nursing home in Florida, as well as hospital-based skilled nursing units. The guide is intended to provide general knowledge on selecting a nursing home. It also helps to ensure that a selected nursing home is adequate for the needs of each patient.
The Nursing Home Guide also shows violations and deficiencies that each nursing home has been cited for within the past 45 months. With each deficiency cited, the guide includes information on the severity and scope. Each citation receives a certain number of points based on a calculation system. In the guide, nursing homes are ranked in each region based on these scores so that consumers can compare nursing homes.
Reporting Florida Nursing Home Abuse
Florida Statute 492.296 places time restraints on when a Florida nursing home abuse victim or family member can report the incident. This statue states that the report must take place within two years of the incident. If the incident was not immediately discovered, the report must take place within two years of discovery of the incident. For this reason, it is important that patients or family members of patients who wish to file a claim seek an experienced attorney immediately. Contact an experienced Orlando Nursing Home Abuse Attorney today.
“Guide Introduction.” Nursing Home Guide. Agency for Health Care Administration, n.d. Web. 17 May 2013. http://apps.ahca.myflorida.com/nhcguide/
“MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR NURSING HOMES.”Florida Administrative Register & Florida Administrative Code. Florida Department of State. Web. 17 May 2013. https://www.flrules.org/gateway/chapterhome.asp?chapter=59A-4