11 states make up the Western region of the U.S. These states have different nursing home laws which dictate the minimum standards that nursing homes must follow.
In Colorado, nursing homes must get licensed and certified by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The Colorado Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators is the organization that is responsible for licensing and regulating administrators within the state.
The Idaho Department of Health and the Bureau of Facility Standards work together with the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services in order to regulate nursing homes and make sure they are providing adequate care to residents of Idaho. These three government agencies are committed to ensuring that residents of nursing homes can exercise their rights to safety, dignity, and wellbeing.
Long term care of the elderly is regulated and supervised by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. One of the explicit responsibilities of the department is to protect and advocate for the independence and dignity of elderly residents of Montana and the disabled. Montana nursing home laws focus set minimum standards for education, information, and assistance.
According to Nevada law, nursing homes must provide the services of a registered nurse 24 hours a day. Licensing and certification of nursing homes is overseen by the Nevada Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance.
The state laws in Utah require that residents have 100 square feet of personal space in single rooms. In rooms with multiple beds, each resident must have 80 square feet of space. State laws also specify that facilities must acquire a physician’s immediate care orders right after a person has been admitted. Facilities are expected to assess each patient individually and develop a personalized care plan.
In Wyoming, nursing facilities must have registered nurses available for 24 hours a day. Required staff member to resident ratios are different depending on the amount of residents and whether it is day or night. Wyoming nursing homes are licensed and regulated by the Wyoming Department of Health.
The state of Alaska has established minimum standards regarding nursing services, use of restraints, use of psychopharmacological drugs, physician services, rehab series, and activity programs. Nursing homes in Alaska must provide written policies that outline their services and the rights of residents.
Hawaii nursing homes must provide nutritional meals that are specific to each resident’s needs. The nursing homes in the state are regulated and licensed by the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
Oregon nursing homes must maintain written plans that will make sure that staffing is kept at sufficient numbers to adequately care for patients. Facilities are also required to publicly post the number of nursing staff currently working at the facility, and facilities must provide at least one hour of care from a registered nurse to each resident per week. The Seniors and People with Disabilities Division of the Oregon Department of Human Services is responsible for regulating nursing homes.
The nursing home laws in Washington establish what rights all nursing home residents have. For example, residents have the right to select their own personal attending physician. Residents also have some limited rights to determine their care such as the right to deny changes in their care or deny recommended treatments. If a resident is incapable of making decisions regarding their care, the facility will have to get the permission of a qualified surrogate.
“Health Facilities.” Nevada State Health Division. Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. Web. 28 Sep 2013. <http://health.nv.gov/HCQC_HealthFacilities.htm>.
“Medical and Other Related Facilities.” Nevada Legislature. Legislative Counsel Bureau. Web. 28 Sep 2013. <https://leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-449.html>.
“R432. Health, Health Systems Improvement, Licensing.” School of Public Health, University of Minnesota. State of Utah. Web. 28 Sep 2013. <http://www.hpm.umn.edu/nhregsplus/NHRegs_by_State/Utah/UT Complete Regs.pdf>.
“Section 3: Statutes & Regulations on Advance Directives Washington State Regulations for Nursing Homes.”Washington State Hospital Association. Washington State Hospital Association. Web. 28 Sep 2013. <http://www.wsha.org/EOL-Statutes-NrsingHms.cfm>.
“Senior and Long Term Care.” Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. State of Montana. Web. 28 Sep 2013. http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/sltc/.