Nursing Homes Must Protect Resident Funds
Nursing Homes are required by federal statute to protect resident funds and safeguard them.
§483.10 Resident rights. The resident has a right to a dignified existence, self-determination, and communication with and access to persons and services inside and outside the facility. A facility must protect and promote the rights of each resident, including each of the following rights:
(a) Exercise of rights.
(c) Protection of resident funds.
(5) Notice of certain balances. The facility must notify each resident that receives Medicaid benefits—
(i) When the amount in the resident’s account reaches $200 less than the SSI resource limit for one person, specified in section 1611(a)(3)(B) of the Act; and
(ii) That, if the amount in the account, in addition to the value of the resident’s other nonexempt resources, reaches the SSI resource limit for one person, the resident may lose eligibility for Medicaid or SSI.
Exercise of rights. The resident has the right to exercise his or her rights as a resident of the facility and as a citizen or resident of the United States.
(1) The facility must ensure that the resident can exercise his or her rights without interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal from the facility
(2) The resident has the right to be free of interference, coercion, discrimination, and reprisal from the facility in exercising his or her rights and to be supported by the facility in the exercise of his or her rights as required under this subpart.
(3) In the case of a resident who has not been adjudged incompetent by the state court, the resident has the right to designate a representative, in accordance with State law and any legal surrogate so designated may exercise the resident’s rights to the extent provided by state law. The same-sex spouse of a resident must be afforded treatment equal to that afforded to an opposite-sex spouse if the marriage was valid in the jurisdiction in which it was celebrated.
(i) The resident representative has the right to exercise the resident’s rights to the extent those rights are delegated to the resident representative.
(ii) The resident retains the right to exercise those rights not delegated to a resident representative, including the right to revoke a delegation of rights, except as limited by State law.
(4) The facility must treat the decisions of a resident representative as the decisions of the resident to the extent required by the court or delegated by the resident, in accordance with applicable law.
(5) The facility shall not extend the resident representative the right to make decisions on behalf of the resident beyond the extent required by the court or delegated by the resident, in accordance with applicable law.
(6) If the facility has reason to believe that a resident representative is making decisions or taking actions that are not in the best interests of a resident, the facility shall report such concerns in the manner required under State law.
(7) In the case of a resident adjudged incompetent under the laws of a State by a court of competent jurisdiction, the rights of the resident devolve to and are exercised by the resident representative appointed under State law to act on the resident’s behalf. The court-appointed resident representative exercises the resident’s rights to the extent judged necessary by a court of competent jurisdiction, in accordance with State law
(i) In the case of a resident representative whose decision-making authority is limited by State law or court appointment, the resident retains the right to make those decision outside the representative’s authority.
(ii) The resident’s wishes and preferences must be considered in the exercise of rights by the representative.
(iii) To the extent practicable, the resident must be provided with opportunities to participate in the care planning process.