Long-term care discharges: When are they legal?

Long-term care discharges: When are they legal?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2021 | Long-term care facilities |

Long-term care residents sometimes need to stay in rehabilitation centers or long-term care facilities permanently, but many of them are able to return home or be discharged to other facilities where they can work on their recovery.

Sometimes, residents are discharged because their family wants to move them to another facility. Other times, they are discharged for causing problems in the long-term care facility. When that happens, it’s better known as a care center “eviction” and can pose issues for a long-term care facility.

When can a long-term care facility legally evict a resident?

There are times when a long-term care facility can legally evict a resident thanks to the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) of 1987. With this act, long-term care facilities may discharge residents if residents need more or different care than the facility can provide, if the resident is not paying for their care after sufficient notice (and is not in the process of obtaining Medicaid) or if the resident is healthy enough to leave the facility.

Sometimes, long-term care residents are discharged because they have jeopardized the health or safety of other residents.

When is it illegal to discharge residents?

It may be illegal to discharge a long-term care resident if they cannot pay but have a Medicaid application in process. It may also be illegal to discharge a resident if the facility can meet the needs of the resident but says it cannot in order to transfer the resident to a different facility.

If your long-term care facility accepts Medicaid but stops accepting it in the future, the facility still cannot kick out those who previously had Medicaid. This is a rule in the Nursing Home Resident Protection Amendments made in 1999.

Long-term care facilities have to abide by specific rules and regulations. If you have any questions about your facility and what you can do to address issues with your residents, it’s worth looking into the abovementioned acts and amendments to be sure that you stay on the right side of the law. A good discharge plan is essential when you plan to remove a resident from your facility.