One of the ways in which nursing home abuse and neglect cases are unique is that the nursing home industry is very closely regulated by the federal government with enforcement done through the Illinois Department of Public Health. Here are some of the regulations that we consider when we investigate and prosecute a nursing home fall case:
42 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 483.20 – Resident Assessment
Preamble – The facility must conduct initially and periodically a comprehensive, accurate, standardized, reproducible assessment of each resident’s functional capacity.
The timing will be addressed below, but the requirement that the assessment be comprehensive, standardized, accuirate, and reproducible means that every assessment should be the same and that the results of the assessment will be the same. In other words, two nurses looking at the same resident should get the same results.
483.20(b)(1) – the nursing home is required to perform a comprehensive assessment, and the regulations spell out specifically what must be included in the assessment
483.20(b)(2) – the comprehensive assessment must be done within 14 days of admission or upon a significant change in condition. The regulations further define exactly what a significant change in condition
483.20(c) – there must be a quarterly review of the comprehensive assessment
483.20(d) – the nursing home must keep and use all assessments done in the last 15 months to develop, review, and revise the resident care plan.
483.20 (g) – the assessment must accurately reflect the resident’s status.
These regulations lay at the heart of the care planning process, which we use as a framework for investigating and prosecuting all forms of nursing home cases.
Preamble – Based on the results of the assessment, the nursing home must ensure that the resident receives treatment and care in accordance with professional standards of practice and the care plan.
483.25(d) – A nursing home is required to ensure that the resident environment remains as free of hazards as possible and that each resident receive adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents
The regulation is broad, and a fall is certainly one of the kinds of accidents that a nursing home is under an obligation to prevent.
This regulation requires nursing homes to have on hand sufficient staff to meet the care needs of the residents as determined by the comprehensive assessments and care plans on a 24-hour a day basis.
When nursing homes are understaffed and cannot meet the care needs of the residents on a 24-7 basis, the nursing home is being operated in violation of this regulation.
Following these regulations is no more than following the law. When a nursing home fails to deliver on its promises to keep your parent safe from falling, they are not just breaking their promise to you, they are breaking the law as well.
One of our core beliefs is that nursing homes are built to fail due to the business model they follow and that unnecessary injuries and illnesses and wrongful deaths of residents are the inevitable result. Order our FREE report, Built to Fail, to learn more about why. Our experienced Chicago nursing home lawyers are ready to help you understand what happened, why, and what your rights are. Contact us to get the help you need.