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“ ( A ) The rights of residents of a home shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

( 1 ) The right to a safe and clean living environment pursuant to the medicare and medicaid programs and applicable state laws and regulations prescribed by the public health council;

( 2 ) The right to be free from physical, verbal, mental, and emotional abuse and to be treated at all times with courtesy, respect, and full recognition of dignity and individuality;

( 3 ) Upon admission and thereafter, the right to adequate and appropriate medical treatment and nursing care and to other ancillary services that comprise necessary and appropriate care consistent with the program for which the resident contracted. This care shall be provided without regard to considerations such as race, color, religion, national origin, age, or source of payment for care;

( 4 ) The right to have all reasonable requests and inquiries responded to promptly;

( 5 ) The right to have clothes and bed sheets changed as the need arises, to ensure the resident's comfort or sanitation;

( 6 ) The right to obtain from the home, upon request, the name and any specialty of any physician or other person responsible for the resident's care or for the coordination of care;

( 7 ) The right, upon request, to be assigned, within the capacity of the home to make the assignment, to the staff physician of the resident's choice, and the right, in accordance with the rules and written policies and procedures of the home, to select as the attending physician a physician who is not on the staff of the home. If the cost of a physician's services is to be met under a federally supported program, the physician shall meet the federal laws and regulations governing such services;

( 8 ) The right to participate in decisions that affect the resident's life, including the right to communicate with the physician and employees of the home in planning the resident's treatment or care and to obtain from the attending physician complete and current information concerning medical condition, prognosis, and treatment plan, in terms the resident can reasonably be expected to understand; the right of access to all information in the resident's medical record; and the right to give or withhold informed consent for treatment after the consequences of that choice have been carefully explained. When the attending physician finds that it is not medically advisable to give the information to the resident, the information shall be made available to the resident's sponsor on the resident's behalf, if the sponsor has a legal interest or is authorized by the resident to receive the information. The home is not liable for a violation of this division if the violation is found to be the result of an act or omission on the part of a physician selected by the resident who is not otherwise affiliated with the home;

( 9 ) The right to withhold payment for physician visitation if the physician did not visit the resident;

( 10 ) The right to confidential treatment of personal and medical records, and the right to approve or refuse the release of these records to any individual outside the home, except in case of transfer to another home, hospital, or health care system, as required by law or rule, or as required by a third-party payment contract;

( 11 ) The right to privacy during medical examination or treatment and in the care of personal or bodily needs;

( 12 ) The right to refuse, without jeopardizing access to appropriate medical care, to serve as a medical research subject;

( 13 ) The right to be free from physical or chemical restraints or prolonged isolation except to the minimum extent necessary to protect the resident from injury to self, others, or to property and except as authorized in writing by the attending physician for a specified and limited period of time and documented in the resident's medical record. Prior to authorizing the use of a physical or chemical restraint on any resident, the attending physician shall make a personal examination of the resident and an individualized determination of the need to use the restraint on that resident.

Physical or chemical restraints or isolation may be used in an emergency situation without authorization of the attending physician only to protect the resident from injury to self or others. Use of the physical or chemical restraints or isolation shall not be continued for more than twelve hours after the onset of the emergency without personal examination and authorization by the attending physician. The attending physician or a staff physician may authorize continued use of physical or chemical restraints for a period not to exceed thirty days, and at the end of this period and any subsequent period may extend the authorization for an additional period of not more than thirty days. The use of physical or chemical restraints shall not be continued without a personal examination of the resident and the written authorization of the attending physician stating the reasons for continuing the restraint.

If physical or chemical restraints are used under this division, the home shall ensure that the restrained resident receives a proper diet. In no event shall physical or chemical restraints or isolation be used for punishment, incentive, or convenience.

( 14 ) The right to the pharmacist of the resident's choice and the right to receive pharmaceutical supplies and services at reasonable prices not exceeding applicable and normally accepted prices for comparably packaged pharmaceutical supplies and services within the community;

( 15 ) The right to exercise all civil rights, unless the resident has been adjudicated incompetent pursuant to Chapter 2111. of the Revised Code and has not been restored to legal capacity, as well as the right to the cooperation of the home's administrator in making arrangements for the exercise of the right to vote;

( 16 ) The right of access to opportunities that enable the resident, at the resident's own expense or at the expense of a third-party payer, to achieve the resident's fullest potential, including educational, vocational, social, recreational, and habilitation programs;

( 17 ) The right to consume a reasonable amount of alcoholic beverages at the resident's own expense, unless not medically advisable as documented in the resident's medical record by the attending physician or unless contradictory to written admission policies;

( 18 ) The right to use tobacco at the resident's own expense under the home's safety rules and under applicable laws and rules of the state, unless not medically advisable as documented in the resident's medical record by the attending physician or unless contradictory to written admission policies;

( 19 ) The right to retire and rise in accordance with the resident's reasonable requests, if the resident does not disturb others or the posted meal schedules and upon the home's request remains in a supervised area, unless not medically advisable as documented by the attending physician;

( 20 ) The right to observe religious obligations and participate in religious activities; the right to maintain individual and cultural identity; and the right to meet with and participate in activities of social and community groups at the resident's or the group's initiative;

( 21 ) The right upon reasonable request to private and unrestricted communications with the resident's family, social worker, and any other person, unless not medically advisable as documented in the resident's medical record by the attending physician, except that communications with public officials or with the resident's attorney or physician shall not be restricted. Private and unrestricted communications shall include, but are not limited to, the right to:

( a ) Receive, send, and mail sealed, unopened correspondence;
( b ) Reasonable access to a telephone for private communications;
( c ) Private visits at any reasonable hour.

( 22 ) The right to assured privacy for visits by the spouse, or if both are residents of the same home, the right to share a room within the capacity of the home, unless not medically advisable as documented in the resident's medical record by the attending physician;

( 23 ) The right upon reasonable request to have room doors closed and to have them not opened without knocking, except in the case of an emergency or unless not medically advisable as documented in the resident's medical record by the attending physician;

( 24 ) The right to retain and use personal clothing and a reasonable amount of possessions, in a reasonably secure manner, unless to do so would infringe on the rights of other residents or would not be medically advisable as documented in the resident's medical record by the attending physician;

( 25 ) The right to be fully informed, prior to or at the time of admission and during the resident's stay, in writing, of the basic rate charged by the home, of services available in the home, and of any additional charges related to such services, including charges for services not covered under the medicare or medicaid program. The basic rate shall not be changed unless thirty days notice is given to the resident or, if the resident is unable to understand this information, to the resident's sponsor;

( 26 ) The right of the resident and person paying for the care to examine and receive a bill at least monthly for the resident's care from the home that itemizes charges not included in the basic rates;

( 27 )     ( a ) The right to be free from financial exploitation;
              ( b ) The right to manage the resident's own personal financial affairs, or, if the resident has delegated this responsibility in writing to the home, to receive upon written request at least a quarterly accounting statement of financial transactions made on the resident's behalf. The statement shall include:

( i ) A complete record of all funds, personal property, or possessions of a resident from any source whatsoever, that have been deposited for safekeeping with the home for use by the resident or the resident's sponsor;
( ii ) A listing of all deposits and withdrawals transacted, which shall be substantiated by receipts which shall be available for inspection and copying by the resident or sponsor.

( 28 ) The right of the resident to be allowed unrestricted access to the resident's property on deposit at reasonable hours, unless requests for access to property on deposit are so persistent, continuous, and unreasonable that they constitute a nuisance;

( 29 ) The right to receive reasonable notice before the resident's room or roommate is changed, including an explanation of the reason for either change;

( 30 ) The right not to be transferred or discharged from the home unless the transfer is necessary because of one of the following:

( a ) The welfare and needs of the resident cannot be met in the home;

( b ) The resident's health has improved sufficiently so that the resident no longer needs the services provided by the home;

( c ) The safety of individuals in the home is endangered;

( d ) The health of individuals in the home would otherwise be endangered;

( e ) The resident has failed, after reasonable and appropriate notice, to pay or to have the medicare or medicaid program pay on the resident's behalf, for the care provided by the home. A resident shall not be considered to have failed to have the resident's care paid for if the resident has applied for medicaid, unless both of the following are the case:

( i ) The resident's application, or a substantially similar previous application, has been denied by the county department of job and family services;
( ii ) If the resident appealed the denial pursuant to division (C) of section 5101.35 of the Revised Code, the director of job and family services has upheld the denial.

( f ) The home's license has been revoked, the home is being closed pursuant to section 3721.08, sections 5111.35 to 5111.62, or section 5155.31 of the Revised Code, or the home otherwise ceases to operate;

( g ) The resident is a recipient of medicaid, and the home's participation in the medicaid program is involuntarily terminated or denied;

( h ) The resident is a beneficiary under the medicare program, and the home's participation in the medicare program is involuntarily terminated or denied.

( 31 ) The right to voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services to the home's staff, to employees of the department of health, or to other persons not associated with the operation of the home, of the resident's choice, free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal. This right includes access to a residents' rights advocate, and the right to be a member of, to be active in, and to associate with persons who are active in organizations of relatives and friends of nursing home residents and other organizations engaged in assisting residents;

( 32 ) The right to have any significant change in the resident's health status reported to the resident's sponsor. As soon as such a change is known to the home's staff, the home shall make a reasonable effort to notify the sponsor within twelve hours.

( B ) A sponsor may act on a resident's behalf to assure that the home does not deny the residents' rights under sections 3721.10 to 3721.17 of the Revised Code.

( C ) Any attempted waiver of the rights listed in division (A) of this section is void.”

Reprinted courtesy of the Ohio State Bar Association

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