Can a Resident be Discharged From a Nursing Home?
Can a Resident Be Discharged from a Nursing Home? Nursing homes are crucial for health and medical care of the elder because they can look after our loved ones when we cannot and we are not knowledgeable to handle their case including Alzheimer's disease, dementia and other elderly illnesses. There are many questions on the matter of nursing homes discharging their patients. Clients ask what recourse they have in case their loved one was discharged by the facility. Nursing homes operate under specific conditions and follow discharging procedures.
On the other hand, it is common receive complaints that some nursing facilities discharge a patient if he's undesirable so he's transferred to a hospital. Then they will not let him go back to the facility again, a practice also called “patient dumping.” It is illegal to do it as the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 prohibits such an unlawful discharge. It prohibits the discharge or transfer of a resident except, when…
- The patient has improved so he no longer requires the nursing home's services.
- His needs are not met by the nursing home. This commonly happens when a resident's needs are not attended to in the nursing home.
- A nursing home can discharge or transfer a patient if his family failed to pay even after being given a notice. On the other hand, he should not be discharged if he is entitled for Medicaid or Medi-Cal benefits, which would pay for his nursing home stay. If the patient has applied for the benefit, he should not be discharged from the nursing home until he's application is completed and the results were revealed.
- The patient endangers the health of other residents, another ground for the nursing home to discharge your loved one. However, a physician's report must be documented to show that your patient really is a danger for other residents in the facility.
- A facility may discharge your loved one if they will cease operations.
Before a discharge, they should notify you, as the resident's family member or legal representative. If you have, too, have concerns and questions about Elder Law, feel free to contact us at the Asset Protection & Elder Law Center. I'll see you next week!