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Changes to Resident Rights Proposed

The Department of Health (DOH) recently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require nursing homes to provide information about home and community-based services (HCBS) and community transition programs to residents. The proposed regulation would require that all nursing homes provide residents with information on services and programs that may be available to support the resident in returning to the community, including their right to live in the most integrated and least restrictive setting, upon admission.

Currently, DOH oversees and operates the federally funded Money Follows the Person program. This program provides assistance and support to nursing home residents that wish to return to their community. Residents that express an interest are referred to the Local Contact Agency and connected with a transition specialist that will assist them with transitioning to community living.

The proposed rule is part of a series of actions to promote community living for New Yorkers. It would require all nursing homes to adopt, and make public, a statement of the rights and responsibilities of residents and would require that residents are made aware of their rights prior to, or at, their admission to a nursing home.

Per a memorandum prepared by LeadingAge NY counsel Hinman Straub, the proposed rule would require the following of all nursing homes:

  • advise all residents, upon admission, of their right to live in the most integrated and least restrictive setting, with considerations for the resident’s medical, physical, and psychosocial needs;
  • provide all residents, upon admission, with information on HCBS and community transition programs;
  • refer all residents to the Local Contact Agency, or a community-based provider of the resident or designated representative’s choosing, whenever the resident requests information about returning to the community, or whenever the resident requests to talk to someone about returning to the community during any state or federally mandated assessment;
  • post in a public area of the facility, at wheelchair height, contact information for the Local Contact Agency;
  • have staff available to discuss options for discharge planning, with consideration for the resident’s medical, physical, and psychosocial needs; and
  • ensure that all discharge activities align with resident transfer and discharge rights.

Nursing homes would be required to replace their existing resident rights materials with an amended version and replace existing signage with new signage that includes the amended residents’ rights, as soon as the materials are available from DOH. Nursing homes may be subject to annual review to ensure compliance with this rule.

The Department is accepting comments on the proposed regulation through Mon., July 29, 2019. LeadingAge NY will submit comments on behalf of members. If you would like to submit a comment for consideration by DOH, please send it by Mon., July 22, 2019.

Contact: Elliott Frost, efrost@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8832 or Mary Wassel, mwassel@leadingageny.org, 518-728-2365