The short answer is no; nursing homes are legally prohibited from kicking out patients. However, their action may be justified if it falls under six exemptions under the law, as seen on the Commonwealth Fund. Even then, there are distinct procedures that the nursing home must follow for their actions to be considered lawful.
Reasons Why a Nursing Home May Evict a Resident
There are a variety of reasons why a nursing home may choose to kick out a patient. However, their reasons must at all times have proof and follow the six exemptions specified by law. They are as follows:
- A resident’s medical needs cannot be met by the nursing home.
- Their health improves and they no longer require the services of the facility.
- The resident’s presence and behavior endanger the safety of other residents.
- A resident can be evicted if their presence or behavior endangers the health of other residents.
- A resident can be evicted for failing to pay for their care. However, the nursing home must allow up to 15 days of not receiving payment to evict them.
- A resident can be discharged from a nursing home if the facility closes down.
Understanding Your Nursing Home Resident Rights
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you need to understand their rights. Here are a few:
- Discrimination. A nursing home cannot choose to admit residents based on color, religion, race, sex, age, or any other protected characteristic.
- Upon entry. A patient is allowed to have a say in their care plans. If they cannot speak or have any difficulty expressing their needs, an adult they trust can participate on their behalf.
- Freedom to choose. Residents must be given the freedom to pick health care plans, schedules, and activities that line up with their interests and assessments.
- Access to records. The law states that facilities must grant residents or their family access to their records within 24 hours from it being requested.
- Complaints. The nursing home must provide residents and their loved ones with the contact information of the places where complaints can be filed.
Taking Legal Steps
If your loved one is kicked out of a nursing home, we recommend that you seek legal advice immediately. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we investigate the case diligently and take immediate steps to protect your loved one’s rights. Steps we take include the following.
Assessing the Nursing Home’s Decision
Our first order of business is to verify that the nursing home followed the discharge planning requirements specified by the law. They are as follows:
- Providing the resident’s family or legal representation a written notice of the discharge 30-60 days in advance of the discharge date.
- A summary of the resident’s mental and physical well-being.
- A post-discharge plan of care to help the resident look into alternative care and housing.
Verifying the Contents of The Written Notice
Per the law, the notice must include the following; otherwise, it is an unlawful eviction:
- The reason for discharge.
- The proposed discharge date.
- The location to which the nursing home facility plans to discharge the resident.
- An acknowledgment of the resident’s right to contest the discharge.
- The procedures the resident must follow to contest the hearing.
- The resident’s right to legal counsel.
- The contact information of a disability advocacy group if the patient has a mental illness.
- The full contact information of an Ombudsman program.
Appealing the Discharge
You have the right to contest the discharge by appealing. However, it is essential to seek legal representation as soon as you receive the news. When we file an appeal on your behalf within 20 days of the discharge notice, your loved one cannot be removed from the facility until the court holds a hearing and gives a written decision. But do not worry if you come to us later– we can still file the appeal even after the patient has been discharged.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 842-6336
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we ensure that your loved one has the opportunity to exercise their right under the full extent of the law. Once you hire us, we will work towards preventing an unlawful discharge or reversing the decision. Since we work on a contingency basis, we finance the litigation process until we win your case and recover compensation. To discuss your case for free, call us at (800) 842-6336 to speak to a member of the team.