According to a recent news article, American nursing homes are increasingly evicting their most burdensome patients, which can result in a devastating lack of necessary care for some of the nation’s most vulnerable patients. The reality is that patients with multiple health problems, including dementia, require much more care than some other nursing home residents, making them less profitable for nursing homes, particularly if the patients are also poor and have few financial resources. By evicting these types of residents, nursing homes can focus their efforts on attracting wealthier, less care-intensive patients to fill their beds.
Data from the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, which is a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, indicates that complaints about evictions of residents from nursing homes have risen by about 57% since the year 2000, and eviction or discharge complaints were the biggest area of grievances in 2014.
However, the American Health Care Association claims that evictions of residents are sometimes necessary to protect them and other residents from potential safety hazards. Nursing homes claim that some residents’ needs simply become too complex for existing nursing home models to handle in a safe and efficient manner. However, data shows that nursing homes seem to seize on justifications for eviction, such as brief hospitalizations. Although federal law requires that the Medicaid recipients’ beds be held for hospitalizations of up to one week, anecdotal evidence shows that nursing homes regularly violate federal rules and regulations. Although federal law allows eviction of nursing home residents for failure to pay, risks to the health and safety of others, and the inability of a facility to meet the residents’ needs, nursing homes seem to expand these categories to meet their needs as they arise.
Eviction from nursing homes can mean substandard care at other facilities that are ill-equipped to handle the needs of some of our most vulnerable residents. At Boller & Vaughan, we are here to stand up for the rights of all those residents and their families who have suffered substantial injuries and neglect while under the care of those are supposed to prevent these types of tragic situations from occurring. Contact us today at (608) 268-0268, set up an appointment with one of our Wisconsin nursing home abuse attorneys, and discover how we can help.