Nursing Home Laws- Federal Laws

Nursing home residents in Illinois are protected under both federal and state regulations. Nursing homes in Illinois that receive federal funding, such as Medicare, must comply with federal requirements that dictate the quality of care for residents. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987) was passed to address the growing problem of nursing home abuse and neglect in the United States and is now the national standard of care for all nursing homes. The law states that all nursing homes must provide quality care to ensure that residents "attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident." The law established a nursing home Resident's Bill of Rights and required certain services for all residents in federally funded long-term care facilities.

Some nursing home provisions in OBRA 87 include:

  • Nursing homes must employ sufficient staff
  • Nursing homes must perform an initial assessment on all new residents
  • Nursing homes must develop an individualized, comprehensive care plan for each resident
  • Nursing homes must provide services to assist residents with daily tasks if they cannot perform them on their own
  • Nursing homes must ensure that residents do not develop pressure sores and if they do, nursing homes must give the proper treatment to encourage healing, avoid infection, and prevent new sores from developing
  • Nursing homes must properly supervise residents to prevent accidents, such as falls
  • Nursing homes must keep accurate, complete, and easily accessible medical records for all residents

Some of the rights afforded to nursing home residents under OBRA 87 as part of the Residents' Bill of Rights include:

  • Residents have the right to receive adequate or appropriate care to address medical, physical, psychological, and social needs
  • Residents have the right to be treated with dignity and respect
  • Residents have the right to communicate freely
  • Residents have the right to be involved in planning their own care and must be informed when a nursing home wants to change treatments
  • Residents have the right to be free from nursing home abuse and neglect
  • Residents have to right to be free from chemical and physical restraints
  • Residents have the right to refuse medication
  • Residents have the right to privacy and confidentiality in personal, medical and financial affairs
  • Residents have the right to get involved with nursing home resident groups and family groups
  • Residents have the right to file complaints without fear of discrimination or punishment

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or death as a result of a nursing home's failure to comply with federal nursing home laws, contact the Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti for a free consultation to evaluate your claim. Since 1992, our lawyers have recovered over $100 million in verdicts and settlements for nursing home clients and can help victims and families seek fair compensation. Call us at 312-332-2872 or 877-374-1417 or fill out our online Contact Us form and an attorney will get back to you.