NEW JERSEY ENACTS LEGISLATION TO PROTECT LONG TERM CARE RESIDENTS
On October 17, 2013, Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill protecting the rights of elderly residents in continuing care retirement communities. Some of the protections established under the law include:
- each prospective long term care resident is entitled to receive a copy of a disclosure statement from the facility, as well as an explanation of the rights and responsibilities of a resident prior to executing a continuing care agreement;
- within 30 days after signing a continuing care agreement, the resident may cancel the agreement and receive a full refund (except for the application fee);
- each resident is entitled to 30-days advance written notice prior to the increase of any fees;
- a resident may refuse treatment and make life support decisions; and
- a resident may choose any outside physician as his or her primary care physician.
Significantly, the legislation also sets forth specific criteria for determining whether a resident can function independently and provides that such determinations can be made only by the community’s medical director.
The law went into effect immediately.
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