REGULATIONS AND LAWS
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES
Your representatives need to know how you feel about issues you are concerned about. They need to hear from ordinary citizens, not just from the special interest groups, in order to represent their constituents. Input from concerned citizens can cause a legislator to pay attention to a particular issue, and may influence him or her to vote the right way.
To find who your State Senator or Representative is, check the Government Blue Pages of your local phone book or log onto
www.capitol.state.tx.us and go to "who represents me?".
For Texas State Representatives
Box 2910, Austin TX 78768-2910
Email: [first name].[last name]@house.state.tx.us
For Texas State Senators
Box 12068, Austin TX 78711-2068
Email: [first name].[last name]@senate.state.tx.us
POSTING OF STAFFING DATA
Effective January 1, 2003, the Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000 requires nursing homes to post each day the number of direct care staff for each shift. These notices must be placed where they can be easily seen by staff, residents, and the public. They must specify the number of licensed (registered nurses and licensed practical nurses) and unlicensed (nurse aides and med-aides) nursing staff directly responsible for resident care.
As you go visiting nursing homes, look for this information.
TRANSFER OF RESIDENTS
Sometimes a responsible party is notified that their resident must be moved out of the nursing home and cared for elsewhere. This is often a very traumatic experience for those affected, and is not in the resident's best interest. The public should be aware of the regulations concerning this practice; an excerpt appears below.
Texas Administrative Code - Title 40, Part 1
Chapter 19: Nursing Facility Requirements for Licensure
and Medicaid Certification
Rule 19.502: Transfer and Discharge in Medicaid-certified
(a) Definition. Transfer and discharge includes movement of a resident to a bed outside the certified facility, whether that bed is in the same physical plant or not. Transfer and discharge does not refer to movement within the same certified facility.
(b) Transfer and discharge requirements. The facility must permit each resident to remain in the facility and must not transfer or discharge the resident from the facility unless:
(1) the transfer or discharge is necessary for the resident's welfare, and the resident's needs cannot be met in the facility;
(2) the transfer or discharge is appropriate because the resident's health has improved sufficiently so the resident no longer needs the services provided by the facility;
(3) the safety of individuals in the facility is endangered;
(4) the health of other individuals in the facility would otherwise be endangered;
(5) The resident has failed, after reasonable and appropriate notice, to pay for (or to have paid under Medicare or Medicaid) a stay at the facility. For a resident who becomes eligible for Medicaid after admission to a facility, the facility may charge a resident only allowable charges under Medicaid; [or]
(6) the resident, responsible party, or family or legal representative requests a voluntary transfer or discharge.
(e) Timing of the notice.
(1) Except when specified in paragraph (3) of this subsection, the notice of transfer or discharge required under subsection (d) of this section must be made by the facility at least 30 days before the resident is transferred or discharged.
(f) Contents of the notice. For nursing facilities, the written notice specified in subsection (d) of the section must include the following:
(4) a statement that the resident has the right to appeal the action as outlined in DHS's Fair Hearings, Fraud, and Civil Rights Handbook by requesting a hearing through the Medicaid eligibility worker at the local DHS office within 10 days.
(h) Notice of relocation to another room. Except in an emergency, the facility must notify the resident and either the responsible party or the family or legal representative at least five days before relocation of the resident to another room within the facility. The facility must prepare a written notice which contains:
(1) the reasons for the relocation;
(2) the effective date of the relocation; and
(3) the room to which the facility is relocating the resident.
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HOW TO CONTACT TANHR
Texas Advocates for Nursing Home Residents
P.O. Box 68
DeSoto, Texas 75123-0068
Toll Free Phone: (888)TANHR4U [(888)826-4748]
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