Texas Attorney General’s Office Releases Medicaid Rights for Elderly Nursing Home Patients

Law Firm Newswire



Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 21, 2013 – There is now an unofficial Bill of Rights for elderly residents of Texas.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office has released information outlining the special rights that are in place for citizens age 60 and over. According to the Office, an elderly individual has all of the rights guaranteed to all citizens of Texas.

In addition, the elderly have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, the right to make choices regarding care, benefits and services, and the right to be “free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.” If the elderly individual is found to need protective measures, they may designate a representative or guardian to ensure those protective measures.

“Some elderly nursing home residents and their loved ones are not aware of how much input they may have over care and everyday issues such as dressing and meals,” stated John Hale, Dallas elder law attorney.

It has been found that some, but not all, nursing homes may provide better care for Medicare or privately-funded residents than the care that is given to Medicaid recipients; Medicaid patients are generally less profitable. While it is not illegal to provide less expensive care to a Medicaid patient, that patient must receive the state-and-federally mandated level of care for all nursing home residents.

A nursing home facility which is receiving Medicaid funding may not be abusing or neglecting patients, but if there is concern that abuse or neglect may be happening, or that there may be Medicaid fraud, individuals are asked to contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at MFCU@texasattorneygeneral.gov or (512) 463-2011.

Additionally, any elderly individual residing in a nursing home should be: dressed, clean and well-groomed; allowed to express personal preferences regarding the food that is served; and the times they are required to wake up and go to sleep. Treatments of any personal nature are to be given in a private setting and all residents are to be treated with respect and dignity.

Nursing home abuse can and does happen, and may include deprivation, intimidation, humiliation, harassment, threats of punishment, any type of hitting or other corporal punishment, sexual harassment or sexual contact, verbal abuse, in language that is either spoken or gestured which is disparaging or derogatory. Patients may not be subjected to chemical or physical restraints, unless authorized by a physician in writing and prescribed for their own safety in an emergency to prevent injury.

If there are any issues or questions about an individual’s rights while in a nursing home facility, consider contacting a Dallas elder law attorney.

John Hale is a Dallas elder law attorney and Dallas estate planning lawyer with The Hale Law Firm. To learn more visit http://www.thehalelawfirm.com.

The Hale Law Firm
100 Executive Court, Suite 3
Waxahachie, TX 75165
Call: 888.425.3911

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