September 2013

Informed Consent Rights in U. S. Nursing Homes

     The 1987 Federal Nursing Home Reform Law, provides for numerous nursing home resident rights. Among these are several important requirements that relate directly to the concept of informed consent. In general, residents have the right to be adequately informed and participate in their care planning decisions. Exactly what this means in implementation is subject to interpretation by providers, regulators, and others. As to be expected, there is much opportunity for an “interpretive disconnect”.
 
     The Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) reviewed, analyzed, and in September 2013, reported on state laws and regulations related to informed consent provisions ensuring the rights of nursing home residents. This was done partially to better understand how each state approaches the issue of informed consent and where are the opportunities to better shape policies. According to the results of this study only seven states have informed consent provisions characterized as “strong”. Tennessee was not among these seven states.

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Health Insurance Exchanges Begin October 1: What Do People on Medicare Need to Do?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as "ACA," "the health care reform law," and "Obamacare"), enacted into law in 2010, effects major changes in how health care in the United States will be delivered and paid for. One such change is the requirement that everyone have health insurance.

To carry out this "individual mandate," as it is called, everyone who wants health insurance can get it, regardless of pre-existing conditions. Starting October 1, the ACA's Health Insurance Exchanges, operating in every state, begin enrollment.

But what about people on Medicare? What should they be doing?

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