South Carolina – March 18, 2021

South Carolina nursing home facilities have standard operating procedures in place that incorporate federal and state statute, requiring all long term resident care personnel to protect residents.  If residents suffer harm directly related to a negative nursing home encounter, whether it is due to negligence, or abuse, exacerbating an existing health condition, or placing them in direct danger, a skilled nursing home lawyer can help.

Protections under law.

The Nursing Home Reform Act governs all nursing home facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding. The act requires nursing homes to provide for “the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychological well-being of each resident in accordance with a written plan of care.” .  The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 outlines residential rights to protect the approximately 1.3 million Americans living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities from nursing home abuse.  Complaints can be made against a Nursing Home, or any other Medicare Certified healthcare facility by contacting the Bureau of Certification Complaint Hot Line at 1-800-922-6735..

The Older Americans Act authorizes funding for elder abuse and neglect programs throughout the country. Funded programs promote awareness of elder abuse, develop community responses to abuse, and train professionals to recognize and respond to elder abuse and neglect.

The Elder Justice Act is a section of law included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that went into effect in 2010. Requirements of nursing homes and long term care facilities and their employees must file written reports of suspected elder abuse to both federal and state authorities.

State ombudsman program.

Long term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities in South Carolina, are associated with the long term care ombudsman program that investigates complaints filed by residents, or loved ones who may be concerned about the level of care at a nursing home facility.  They and elder law attorneys can answer questions about next steps after suspected negligence, or abuse.

Neglect.

Nursing home neglect is a form of elder abuse involving the substandard care of a resident, or a breach of duty that harms a resident in a nursing home and may include medical neglect, basic needs neglect, lack of assistance with personal hygiene, and inadequate social and emotional support for residents.  Neglect is often caused by poor training, reduced staff, lack of supplies and poor management.

Standard of care.

Through a formal complaint from the resident, or loved ones, legal counsel can identify the appropriate legal cause of action in support of the duty of care outlined in the Resident Bill of Rights set forth by the South Carolina Omnibus Adult Protection Act.

Seek counsel.

If a resident, visitor, or loved one suspects abuse, or neglect in a South Carolina nursing home or long term care facility they should contact the South Carolina Department on Aging at 1-800-868-9095 for assistance.  They may be able to assist with resident rights violations, improper discharge, or transfer of residents, benefit eligibility and any other deviations from the standards against abuse, neglect, or exploitation.  If the Department cannot be of assistance, consultation with a nursing home abuse attorney may also prove beneficial. An experienced attorney at the McDougall Law Firm can answer questions and guide next actions after suspected nursing home abuse.

McDougall Law Firm, LLC

115 Lady’s Island Commons
Beaufort, SC 29907

Phone: 843.379.7000

Sources.

https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/USCODE-2008-title42/USCODE-2008-title42-chap7-subchapXVIII-partA-sec1395i-3

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/BILLS-111hr3590enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr3590enr.pdf

https://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ144/PLAW-114publ144.pdf

https://aging.sc.gov/

https://ncea.acl.gov/

https://www.scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/Library/Regulations/R.61-17.pdfd

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t44c070.php

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t43c035.php

 

 

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