No Private Right of Action for Long Term Care Resident
On April 23, 2020, a resident at a nursing home facility filed an appeal in the Seventh Circuit seeking to reverse dismissal of his lawsuit claiming a violation of rights under the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act (“FNHRA”). The plaintiff named the facility and its management company. Central to the allegations is that the nursing home failed to abide by the statute in numerous respects, including by failing to attain or maintain a nursing home resident’s highest practicable level of physical, mental and psychological well-being as dictated by FNHRA. However, the district court held the FNHRA does not provide for a federal private right of action that may be redressed under § 1983 of the Civil Rights Act. Rather, federal nursing home regulations are the standards by which state and federal regulators evaluate nursing facilities for Medicaid and Medicare compliance, nothing more. With nursing homes being at the apex of the Covid pandemic, professional liability carriers will likely be watching this appeal closely.