Nursing home abuse

Nursing Homes Dumping Patients Despite Federal Regulations

April 3, 2018 by James McHugh, Jr.
Patient Dumping

Once a person has been accepted as a resident of a nursing home, they are entitled to certain rights in the event of their eviction. Nursing homes are expected to follow specific eviction procedures that give departing residents enough time to make other arrangements. Unfortunately, nursing homes across the country are putting profits before patients and blatantly ignoring federal regulations.

This was the case for six nursing home residents in California who allege in a lawsuit they were illegally evicted from their nursing home. Some of the residents were unable to make arrangements and were essentially left homeless and one was left at a local motel. This resident ended up in the hospital and required emergency surgery.

Under federal law, nursing homes are not only required to give residents 30 days notice of their eviction, but they must also provide residents an opportunity to appeal the eviction decision. Additionally, the 30-day eviction notice must be given to the resident’s long-term care ombudsman. An ombudsman is an elder rights representative assigned to residents by the state to protect their best interests and legal rights. When residents choose to file an appeal, the nursing home facility is not allowed to evict them until the issue is resolved.

However, nursing homes can’t just evict residents for no reason. Every eviction notice must also contain a detailed explanation of why the facility is evicting the resident. Nursing homes are also required to help make arrangements for the resident’s transfer, whether they are being transferred to a family member’s home or another nursing home facility.

Why Do Facilities Engage In Patient Dumping?

Involuntary discharge, or patient dumping as it is commonly known, often occurs when facilities are eager to get rid of patients for monetary reasons. Facilities are reimbursed more by Medicare than Medicaid, meaning patients with Medicare are more financially lucrative for facilities than patients with Medicaid. Facilities might involuntarily discharge a Medicaid patient in favor of making room for a Medicare patient. Patients might also be involuntarily discharged if they fail to pay, present a health or safety danger to other patients, or if the facility can no longer meet the patient’s medical needs.

All Nursing Home Residents Have Rights

Involuntary discharge can be really dangerous for nursing home residents. They often have extensive medical needs that can cause serious complications when not met. When facilities dump patients illegally without giving them enough time to make arrangements or allow for an appeal, they are putting the patients’ health at risk. In these instances, nursing home facilities can be held accountable for their actions.

Patient Dumping Lawyer

All of our elders deserve to be treated with respect. If your loved one suffered an injury because they were involuntarily discharged from a Philadelphia nursing home, contact a patient dumping lawyer at Lopez McHugh LLP today. We provide free consultations and there is no upfront cost for working with us.

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