• New Jersey Enacts Legislation to Protect Long Term Care Residents
  • October 24, 2013
  • Law Firm: Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP - Boston Office
  • 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.