Memo Offers Guidelines on Preventing Social Media Abuse of Nursing Home Residents

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Sep 14, 2016 in Nursing Home Injury or Death

nurse yelling at residentSocial media abuse has become a growing problem at nursing homes, as there are more and more media reports about nursing home staff members taking and posting pictures or videos of residents without their consent.

This disturbing trend has prompted the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to release a memo telling state health departments to begin reviewing nursing home policies on social media abuse when they survey these facilities.

The memo notes that nursing home residents have a right to live free from social media abuse and other forms of mental abuse. Facilities must create environments where all residents are treated with dignity and respect.

The memo reminds nursing homes that they must train staff members on their policies prohibiting social media abuse, and they must monitor staff to make sure policies are being followed.

Nursing homes must report any allegations of abuse and protect residents who are alleged to have been abused. The memo states that nursing homes must immediately investigate all allegations and take steps to ensure the abuse does not happen again.

State surveyors who receive allegations of social media abuse must conduct an on-site investigation to make sure the facility is complying with Federal guidelines.

If surveyors find out that the facility is not complying with the law, they must identify the specific instances of non-compliance, the residents who have been affected and the potential for harm to residents.

One of the challenges in preventing social media abuse is that some state laws do not explicitly prohibit it. The Office for Civil Rights and the American Health Care Association are working to create standards regarding social media abuse.

If your loved one has been subjected to social media abuse or any other form of nursing home abuse , contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at Stewart Bell, PLLC. We have taken on many nursing home abuse claims and helped victims recover fair compensation.

Call us today at 304-345-1700 for a free, no obligation consultation.

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