Estate Planning and Business Law

What Are The Rules as to Proper Nursing Home Transfer & Discharge?

We receive many calls from distressed families whose parents are being asked to leave nursing homes with little if any notice. They are in a panic state because there are on long waiting lists at other homes and the ones that do have availability would not be their first choice.

If you find yourself in this situation, please note the following:

Regulatory guidelines provide that a nursing home must give the family, conservator or legally liable relative, at least 30 days and no more than 60 days written notice before a transfer or discharge.

Nursing homes have to observe all of the above requirements, regardless if the resident agreed to the transfer or discharge. This is necessary to insure that residents are made aware of their rights and their opportunity to appeal.

The written notice must contain all of the following information. If it does not, then the discharge or transfer is considered unlawful. The notice must include:

  • the reason for discharge.
  • the date of the proposed transfer or discharge.
  • the location of which the nursing facility proposes to transfer or discharge the resident.
  • the resident's right to a hearing to contest the transfer or discharge.
  • the procedures to follow to request a hearing.
  • the date in which the resident must request a hearing in order to prevent the transfer or discharge from occurring before the hearing is held.
  • the resident's rights to represent them self or have legal counsel, a relative, friend or other person represent the resident at the hearing.

Finally, nursing homes that try to transfer residents without giving them the required advance written notice can be sued. The courts may issue injunctions to prevent improper transfers, to reverse the transfers, and to make nursing home pay residents compensatory and punitive damages.

If you or a loved one are being subjected to a sudden discharge or transfer from a nursing home because, “there are no long term beds”, “your therapy is over or not working”, etc.., contact the Estate Planning and Medi Cal Planning attorneys at Blackwell, Santaella & Jahangiri, LLP, in San Ramon, CA.

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