C. 30:13-3.1 &



C. 30:13-10.1

P.L. 1997, CHAPTER 241, approved September 5, 1997

Assembly Committee Substitute (First Reprint) for

Assembly, No. 202





An Act concerning nursing homes and amending and supplementing P.L.1976, c.120.


      Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


      1. Section 3 of P.L.1976, c.120 (C.30:13-3) is amended to read as follows:

      3. Every nursing home shall have the responsibility for:

      a. Maintaining a complete record of all funds, personal property and possessions of a nursing home resident from any source whatsoever, which have been deposited for safekeeping with the nursing home for use by the resident. This record shall contain a listing of all deposits and withdrawals transacted, and these shall be substantiated by receipts given to the resident or his guardian. A nursing home shall provide to each resident or his guardian a quarterly statement which shall account for all of such resident's property on deposit at the beginning of the accounting period, all deposits and withdrawals transacted during the period, and the property on deposit at the end of the period. The resident or his guardian shall be allowed daily access to his property on deposit during specific periods established by the nursing home for such transactions at a reasonable hour. A nursing home may, at its own discretion, place a limitation as to dollar value and size of any personal property accepted for safekeeping.

      b. Providing for the spiritual needs and wants of residents by notifying, at a resident's request, a clergyman of the resident's choice and allowing unlimited visits by such clergyman. Arrangements shall be made, at the resident's expense, for attendance at religious services of his choice when requested. No religious beliefs or practices, or any attendance at religious services, shall be imposed upon any resident.

      c. Admitting only that number of residents for which it reasonably believes it can safely and adequately provide nursing care. Any applicant for admission to a nursing home who is denied such admission shall be given the reason for such denial in writing.

      d. Ensuring that an applicant for admission or a resident is treated without discrimination [based upon] as to age, race, religion, sex [or nationality with respect to participation in recreational activities, meals or other social functions is prohibited] or national origin. However, the participation of a resident in recreational activities, meals or other social functions may be restricted or prohibited if recommended by a resident's attending physician in writing and consented to by the resident.

      e. Ensuring that no resident shall be subjected to physical restraints except upon written orders of an attending physician for a specific period of time when necessary to protect such resident from injury to himself or others. Restraints shall not be employed for purposes of punishment or the convenience of any nursing home staff personnel. The confinement of a resident in a locked room shall be prohibited.

      f. Ensuring that drugs and other medications shall not be employed for purposes of punishment, for convenience of any nursing home staff personnel or in such quantities so as to interfere with a resident's rehabilitation or his normal living activities.

      g. Permitting citizens, with the consent of the resident being visited, legal services programs, employees of the Office of the Public Defender, employees of the private entity designated by the Governor as the State's mental health protection and advocacy agency pursuant to section 22 of P.L.1994, c.58 (C.52:27E-68), and employees and volunteers of the Office of the Nursing Home Ombudsman Program in the Department of Community Affairs, whose purposes include rendering assistance without charge to nursing home residents, full and free access to the nursing home in order to visit with and make personal, social and legal services available to all residents and to assist and advise residents in the assertion of their rights with respect to the nursing home, involved governmental agencies and the judicial system.

      (1) Such access shall be permitted by the nursing home at a reasonable hour.

      (2) Such access shall not substantially disrupt the provision of nursing and other care to residents in the nursing home.

      (3) All persons entering a nursing home pursuant to this section shall promptly notify the person in charge of their presence. They shall, upon request, produce identification to substantiate their identity. No such person shall enter the immediate living area of any resident without first identifying himself and then receiving permission from the resident to enter. The rights of other residents present in the room shall be respected. A resident shall have the right to terminate a visit by a person having access to his living area pursuant to this section at any time. Any communication whatsoever between a resident and such person shall be confidential in nature, unless the resident authorizes the release of such communication in writing.

      h. Ensuring compliance with all applicable State and Federal statutes and rules and regulations.

      i. Ensuring that every resident, prior to or at the time of admission and during his stay, shall receive a written statement of the services provided by the nursing home, including those required to be offered by the nursing home on an as-needed basis, and of related charges, including any charges for services not covered under Title XVIII and Title XIX of the Social Security Act, as amended, or not covered by the nursing home's basic per diem rate. This statement shall further include the payment, fee, deposit and refund policy of the nursing home.

      j. Ensuring that a prospective resident or the resident's family or guardian receives a copy of the contract or agreement between the nursing home and the resident prior to or upon the resident's admission.

(cf: P.L.1994, c.58, s.50)


      2. Section 8 of P.L.1976, c.120 (C.30:13-8) is amended to read as follows:

      8. a. Any person or resident whose rights as defined herein are violated shall have a cause of action against any person committing such violation. The Department of Health may maintain an action in the name of the State to enforce the provisions of this act and any rules or regulations promulgated pursuant to this act. The action may be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce such rights and to recover actual and punitive damages for their violation. Any plaintiff who prevails in any such action shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees and costs of the action.

      b. In addition to the provisions of subsection a. of this section, treble damages may be awarded to a resident or alleged third party guarantor of payment who prevails in any action to enforce the provisions of section 3 of P.L. , c. (C. )(pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf: P.L.1976, c.120, s.8)

      3. (New section) a. A nursing home shall not, with respect to an applicant for admission or a resident of the facility:

      (1) require that the applicant or resident waive any rights to benefits to which he may be entitled under the Medicare program established pursuant to Title XVIII of the federal Social Security Act, Pub.L.89-97 (42 U.S.C. §1395 et seq.) or the Medicaid program established pursuant to P.L.1968, c.413 (C.30:4D-1 et seq.); or

      (2) require a third party guarantee of payment to the facility as a condition of admission or expedited admission to, or continued residence in, that facility; except that when an individual has legal access to a resident's income or resources available to pay for facility care pursuant to a durable power of attorney, order of guardianship or other valid document, the facility may require the individual to sign a contract to provide payment to the facility from the resident's income or resources without incurring personal financial liability.

      b. A nursing home shall prominently display in that facility, and provide to an applicant for admission or a resident of the facility, written information about how to apply for benefits under the Medicare or Medicaid program, and how to receive a refund of previous payments to the facility which may be covered by those benefits.

      c. The provisions of subsections a. and b. of this section shall 1[not apply to a nursing home which does not] only apply to those distinct parts of a nursing home certified to1 participate in the Medicare or Medicaid program.


      4. (New section) Except as otherwise provided in this act, the provisions of P.L.1976, c.120 (C.30:13-1 et seq.) and section 3 of P.L. , c. (C. )(pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall apply to any applicant for admission to a nursing home or any resident of the facility, whether the applicant or resident is eligible for benefits under the Medicare or Medicaid program or is a private pay patient, or may in the future convert from a private pay patient to a Medicare or Medicaid patient.


      5. (New section) The Department of Health and Senior Services shall provide a written explanation of the provisions of section 3 of P.L. , c. (C. )(pending before the Legislature as this bill) to each nursing home which participates in the Medicare or Medicaid program, and the nursing home shall include the written explanation in the contract or agreement which it furnishes to a prospective resident or the resident's family or guardian prior to or upon admission.


      6. This act shall take effect immediately.


Requires nursing homes to provide copy of contract to resident upon admission.