Study: Admissions agreements flawed

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Admissions agreements used by many Missouri nursing homes are misleading to residents and family members and, in some cases, violate federal laws, according to new study results.

The National Senior Citizens Law Center, which issued the report this week, analyzed 175 facility admissions agreements. Many were found to obfuscate the true responsibilities of the nursing homes to their residents, report authors said.

Among the violations discovered: limiting the nursing home's responsibility for the health of its residents, imposing visiting hours on family members, waiving the resident's right to a jury trial of disputes, and reserving the right to evict residents with Alzheimer's for "being difficult." All of those practices are in violation of federal laws, NSCLC asserts.

Nearly 1 in 5 agreements (19%) required a guarantee from a family member or sponsor to financially cover the cost of care if other sources don't pay. Such a move is illegal, study authors contend.

The full report can be seen at http://www.nsclc.org.