The population of Alabama is getting older with more and more “baby-boomers”
reaching retirement age. Accordingly, we are likely to continue to see an increase in the number
of people entering into skilled care facilities. We have all heard stories of our elders being
mistreated in these facilities or not getting proper care. So, are nursing homes regulated and, if
so, who makes the rules?
Facilities in the state of Alabama are covered by both federal and state laws. The
Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 was enacted by our federal government and provides
detailed requirements for nursing homes to follow if they want to receive federal funding through
Medicare or Medicaid. The Alabama State Board of Health has its own Administrative Code for
nursing facilities which covers everything from admission procedures to discharge rights.
In considering a nursing facility for a loved one, people often look at the cleanliness of its
residence, residents’ social environment, resident safety precautions, and physician care among
numerous other issues. These are important for finding the right fit for your loved one and in
determining a loved one’s continued stay. The Alabama State Board of Health maintains a
database of all such facilities and the facilities’ recent deficiencies under the Administrative
Code. You can review these deficiencies at:
http://dph1.adph.state.al.us/Deficiencies/(S(bl3ar4455zxrvm45ljdq2n55))/default.aspx
If you have a loved one in a nursing home facility and have questions about whether their
care falls below the required standards, please call Michael Robertson, and he will review the
matter with you.