Improper Evictions Are Putting Nursing Home Residents at Risk
Nursing homes in Illinois are improperly evicting residents, putting then at risk for serious injury, illness, or death. Often referred to as resident dumping, nursing homes sometimes kick residents out without proper cause, warning, or transition plans, which may affect their ability to get the care they need.
Involuntary Nursing Home Discharges
Involuntarily and improperly discharging nursing home residents occurs all too often. According to an NBCNews.com report, the nation’s long-term care ombudsmen received 10,610 improper discharge and transfer complaints in 2017 alone. Residents may be notified they have to leave or staff members may drop them off at another location.
Numerous factors contribute to improper nursing home discharges, despite state and federal laws in place to help protect residents from such negligence. In some cases, lower-income and longer-term residents whose stays are covered by Medicaid may be transferred or discharged to open rooms for short-term rehabilitation patients for whom Medicare may provide reimbursement for their care. Medicare typically pays out at a higher rate than Medicaid, making it more lucrative for facilities to fill their beds with Medicare patients.
How Do Improper Evictions Affect Nursing Facility Residents?
Getting wrongfully discharged from nursing homes puts residents at risk for suffering worsened health conditions, serious injury or illness, or death. Often, nursing home residents lack the ability to care for themselves or may otherwise need help performing daily tasks, such as personal hygiene, eating and drinking, or using the restroom. When facilities release them before their health conditions have adequately improved or without the appropriate transfer of care plan, victims are often left in dangerous situations where they no longer have access to round the clock care, medications, or emergency medical treatment.
What Rights Do Nursing Home Residents Have?
Nursing home residents have numerous rights under state and federal laws, including the right to not be transferred or discharged from their facilities without permissible reason. The accepted reasons for the discharge of a nursing home resident include improvement of the resident’s condition, failure to pay, and the facility closing down.
Residents are also entitled to at least 30-days advance notice of an intended transfer or discharge from the facility. The notice should provide information about the reason for the discharge, when the person will be discharged, as well as their ability to appeal the eviction.