Thursday, September 18, 2014

Arkansas Long Term Care Resident’s Rights Act

By: Guy W. Murphy, Jr.

Many of us have friends, family, or clients who are (or will be) long term residents of nursing homes, physical rehabilitation facilities, etc.  Many people are unaware that Arkansas has enacted a resident’s “bill of rights.”  Codified at A.C.A. §20-10-1201, et seq., the Arkansas Long Term Care Resident’s Rights Act (“RRA”) includes, among other things, a list of patient rights which cannot ordinarily be violated by the facility or its staff.

Among these rights are the right of the patient to review recent facility inspection results, to be informed of what costs are not covered by social security, to pick his or her own personal physician and pharmacy to use for prescription medicines, the right to have visitors of his or her choosing during normal visiting hours, and the right to send and receive private and uncensored communication without interference from the facility.

If these rights, or others protected by the RRA, are violated, the statute allows for a civil action to be filed against the facility in the county where the facility is located.  If the case is proved, the resident can be awarded compensatory and punitive damages.

To learn more about the protections of the RRA, read the relevant portion of the statute click hereor contact an attorney familiar with the statute.

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