Understanding Florida Nursing Home Inspections
Under federal law, each state has the responsibility for establishing an agency for inspecting and surveying long-term skilled nursing facilities. In Florida, it’s the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). This state agency promulgates regulations and inspects nursing homes. This works in conjunction with the efforts of the Long-term Care Ombudsman program. Likewise, the agency maintains a database of past surveys and inspection results, including citations.
If you have a loved one living in a nursing home in the Tampa-St. Pete area and you suspect abuse or neglect, you should understand that your loved one has specific rights under federal and state laws. One of these rights is the right to file a formal complaint with the state, which will usually trigger a formal survey inspection. You can report abuse or neglect by calling (800) 96-ABUSE. You may also have a right to seek financial compensation by contacting an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer near you. At Roman & Roman, P.A., we’ve been defending the rights of injured and abused seniors for more than 30 years. Give our firm a call today.
What the Law Say About Nursing Home Resident Rights
There are many specific rights outlined in federal regulations, but in general a nursing home must provide residents with the following:
- Safe environment
- Right to review and participate in care plan
- Social activities
- Healthy meals
- Regular exercise
- Proper medications and medical care
- An environment free from hazards
- Appropriate transfer to a hospital when needed
- Life free from abuse or neglect
- Access to visitors of the resident’s choosing
- The right to worship freely
- Much more
Checking Past Violations
For loved ones looking out for their elderly parents or other relatives in a nursing home, it may be helpful to check past violations. The problem is Florida heavily redacts former survey and inspection reports. The good news is you can access copies of past survey results by visiting the Medicare Nursing Home Compare site. There, you can review safety violations and past citations issued to the nursing home.
Compensation Available for Victims of Abuse or Neglect
In many cases, nursing home residents have been seriously injured or even died at the hands of inattentive or distracted staff. Understaffing and corporate greed often lead to poor care. Don’t be fooled by a clean or even fancy new building. Just because the owners spent the money to build an expensive building does not mean money is being properly spent on training and supervision. In fact, training, pay, and supervision are often the first thing to suffer when greedy corporate nursing home owners look for ways to squeeze extra profits. This can lead to residents being ignored, medications not being properly administered, and serious injuries like falls and bedsores.
Talk to a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you are concerned about the care your loved one is receiving, or if you believe a loved one died due to neglect, contact Roman & Roman, P.A. today. Our team in Clearwater can investigate the circumstances surrounding the injuries or death and help you better understand how it happened. If negligence or abuse played a role, we may be able to help you obtain justice for your elderly loved one. Plus there may be significant cash compensation. We never charge for a consultation, and we only collect a fee if we can help you recover compensation.