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      RS 40:2010.8     


§2010.8. Residents' bill of rights

            A. All nursing homes shall adopt and make public a statement of the rights and responsibilities of the residents residing therein and shall treat such residents in accordance with the provisions of the statement. The statement shall assure each resident the following:

            (1) The right to civil and religious liberties, including but not limited to knowledge of available choices, the right to independent personal decision, and the right to encouragement and assistance from the staff of the facility in the fullest possible exercise of these civil and religious rights.

            (2)(a) The right to private and uncensored communications, including but not limited to receiving and sending unopened correspondence; access to a telephone; and overnight visitation outside the facility with family and friends in accordance with nursing home policies, physician orders, and Title XVIII (Medicare) and Title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act regulations, without the loss of his bed.

            (b) The right to be granted immediate access to the following:

            (i) Any representative of the secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

            (ii) Any representative of the state acting pursuant to his duties and responsibilities under state or federal law.

            (iii) The resident's individual physician.

            (iv) The state long term care ombudsman.

            (v) The agency responsible for the protection of and the advocacy system for persons with developmental disabilities.

            (vi) The agency responsible for the protection of and the advocacy system for persons with mental illness.

            (vii) Immediate family members, other relatives of the resident, and the resident's clergy subject to the resident's right to deny or withdraw consent at any time.

            (viii) Others who are visiting with the consent of the resident, subject to reasonable restrictions and the resident's right to deny or withdraw consent at any time.

            (c) The facility shall provide reasonable access to any resident by any entity or individual that provides health, social, legal, or other services to the resident, subject to the resident's right to deny or withdraw consent at any time.

            (d) Reasonable restrictions are those imposed by the facility that protect the security of all the facility's residents. The facility may change the location of visits to assist care giving or protect the privacy of other residents.

            (3) The right to present grievances on behalf of himself or others to the nursing home's staff or administrator, to governmental officials, or to any other person; to recommend changes in policies and services to nursing home personnel; and to join with other residents or individuals within or outside the home to work for improvements in resident care, free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal. This right includes access to the resident's sponsor and the Louisiana Department of Health and the right to be a member of, to be active in, and to associate with advocacy or special interest groups.

            (4) The right to manage his own financial affairs or to delegate such responsibility to the nursing home, but this delegation may be only to the extent of the funds held in trust by the home for the resident. A quarterly accounting of any transactions made on behalf of the resident shall be furnished to the resident and his sponsor if requested. A copy shall be retained in the resident's records on file in the home.

            (5) The right to be fully informed, in writing and orally, prior to or at time of admission and during his stay, of services not covered under Title XVIII or Title XIX of the Social Security Act or not covered by the basic per diem rates and of bed reservation and refund policies of the home.

            (6) The right to be adequately informed of his medical condition and proposed treatment; to participate in the planning of all medical treatment, including the right to refuse medication and treatment; and to be informed of the consequences of such actions.

            (7) The right to receive adequate and appropriate health care and protective and support services, including services consistent with the resident care plan, with established and recognized practice standards within the community, and with rules promulgated by the Louisiana Department of Health.

            (8) The right to have privacy in treatment and in caring for personal needs; to have closed room doors, and to have facility personnel knock before entering the room, except in case of an emergency; to have confidentiality in the treatment of personal and medical records; and to be secure in storing and using personal possessions, subject to applicable state and federal health and safety regulations and the rights of other residents. Privacy of the resident's body shall be maintained during but not limited to toileting, bathing, and other activities of personal hygiene, except as needed for resident safety or assistance.

            (9) The right to be treated courteously, fairly, and with the fullest measure of dignity and to receive a written statement and oral explanations of the services provided by the home, including statements and explanations required to be offered on an as-needed basis.

            (10) The right to be free from mental and physical abuse; and the right to be free from any physical or chemical restraint imposed for the purposes of discipline or convenience, and not required to treat the resident's medical symptoms.

            (11)(a) The right to be transferred or discharged only if necessary for his welfare and if his needs cannot be met in the facility; his health has improved sufficiently so that he no longer needs the services provided by the facility; the safety of individuals in the facility is endangered; the health of individuals in the facility would otherwise be endangered; he has failed after reasonable and appropriate notice to pay or have paid for a stay at the facility; or the facility ceases to operate.

            (b) Both the resident and his legal representative or interested family member, if known and available, have the right to be notified in writing in a language and manner they understand of the transfer and discharge. The notice must be given no less than thirty days in advance of the proposed action, except that the notice may be given as soon as is practicable prior to the action in the case of an emergency. In facilities not certified to provide services under Title XVIII or Title XIX of the Social Security Act, the advance notice period may be shortened to fifteen days for nonpayment of a bill for a stay at the facility.

            (c) The resident or his legal representative or interested family member, if known and available, has the right to appeal any transfer or discharge to the Louisiana Department of Health, which shall provide a fair hearing in all such appeals.

            (d) The facility must ensure that the transfer or discharge is effectuated in a safe and orderly manner. The resident and his legal representative or interested family member, if known and available, shall be consulted in choosing another facility if facility placement is required.

            (12) The right to select a personal physician; to obtain pharmaceutical supplies and services from a pharmacy of the resident's choice, at the resident's own expense or through Title XVIII or Title XIX of the Social Security Act; and to obtain information about, and to participate in, community-based activities and programs unless such participation would violate infection control or quarantine laws or regulations.

            (13) The right to retain and use personal clothing and possessions as space permits, unless to do so would infringe upon the rights of other residents. Clothing need not be provided to the resident by the home except in emergency situations. If provided, it shall be of reasonable fit.

            (14) The right to have copies of the nursing home's rules and regulations and an explanation of the resident's responsibility to obey all reasonable rules and regulations of the nursing home and of his responsibility to respect the personal rights and private property of other residents.

            (15) The right to be informed of the bed reservation policy for a hospitalization. The nursing home shall inform a private pay resident and his responsible party or sponsor that his bed shall be reserved for any single hospitalization for a period up to thirty days, provided the nursing home receives reimbursement. Notice shall be provided within twenty-four hours of the hospitalization.

            (16) The right to receive a prompt response to all reasonable requests and inquiries.

            (17) The right of the resident to withhold payment for physician visitation if the physician did not examine the resident.

            (18) The right to refuse to serve as a medical research subject without jeopardizing access to appropriate medical care.

            (19) The right to use tobacco at his own expense under the home's safety rules and under applicable laws and rules of the state, unless the facility's written policies preclude smoking in patient rooms.

            (20) The right to consume a reasonable amount of alcoholic beverages at his own expense, unless not medically advisable as documented in his medical record by the attending physician, or unless alcohol is contraindicated with any of the medications in the resident's current regime or unless expressly prohibited by published rules and regulations of a nursing home owned and operated by a religious denomination which has abstinence from the consumption of alcoholic beverages as a part of its religious belief.

            (21) The right to retire and rise in accordance with the resident's personal preference.

            (22) The right to have any significant change in his health status immediately reported to him and his legal representative or interested family member, if known and available, as soon as such a change is known to the home's staff.

            (23) The right to receive a copy of the most recent Louisiana Department of Health annual licensing survey results, provided by the nursing home.

            (24) The right to have a monitoring device installed in his room in accordance with the Nursing Home Virtual Visitation Act, R.S. 40:1193.1 et seq.

            B. A sponsor may act on a resident's behalf to assure that the nursing home does not deny the resident's rights under the provisions of R.S. 40:2010.6 et seq., and no right enumerated therein may be waived for any reason whatsoever.

            C. Each nursing home shall provide a copy of the statement required by Subsection A of this Section to each resident and sponsor upon or before the resident's admission to the home and to each staff member of the home. The statement shall also advise the resident and his sponsor that the nursing home is not responsible for the actions or inactions of other persons or entities not employed by the facility, such as the resident's treating physician, pharmacists, sitter, or other such persons or entities employed or selected by the resident or his sponsor. Each home shall prepare a written plan and provide appropriate staff training to implement the provisions of R.S. 40:2010.6 et seq., including but not limited to an explanation of the following:

            (1) The residents' rights and the staff's responsibilities in the implementation of those rights.

            (2) The staff's obligation to provide all residents who have similar needs with comparable services as required by state licensure standards.

            D.(1) Any violations of the residents' rights set forth in R.S. 40:2010.6 et seq. shall constitute grounds for appropriate action by the Louisiana Department of Health. Residents shall have a private right of action to enforce these rights, as set forth in R.S. 40:2010.9. The state courts shall have jurisdiction to enjoin a violation of residents' rights and to assess fines for violations not to exceed one hundred dollars per individual violation.

            (2) In order to determine whether a home is adequately protecting residents' rights, inspection of the home by the Louisiana Department of Health shall include private, informal conversations with a sample of residents to discuss residents' experiences within the home with respect to the rights specified in R.S. 40:2010.6 et seq., and with respect to compliance with departmental standards.

            E. Any person who submits or reports a complaint concerning a suspected violation of residents' rights or concerning services or conditions in a home or health care facility or who testifies in any administrative or judicial proceedings arising from such complaint shall have immunity from any criminal or civil liability therefor, unless that person has acted in bad faith with malicious purpose, or if the court finds that there was an absence of a justiciable issue of either law or fact raised by the complaining party.

            Added by Acts 1985, No. 734, §1, eff. July 17, 1985. Amended by Acts 1995, No. 1148, §1; Acts 2003, No. 506, §1; Acts 2004, No. 295, §1; Acts 2010, No. 128, §1, eff. June 8, 2010; Acts 2014, No. 811, §22, eff. June 23, 2014; Acts 2018, No. 596, §1.

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