It can be difficult enough to get a loved one into the right nursing home. And yet, once they are there, all your concerns and fears do not necessarily end.
One issue that many of our clients worry about is when a resident can be evicted from the nursing home.
Unfortunately fear of nursing home eviction can keep families or their loved ones from reporting nursing home abuse. And we do not want that. Because nursing home abuse should not be tolerated and there is something you can do about it.
So it is critical for everyone involved to understand what a nursing home resident’s rights are and when a resident can and cannot be evicted from the nursing home. As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding nursing home eviction, contact our Florida nursing home abuse attorneys.
Florida Nursing Home Residents’ Rights
Florida’s laws provide certain rights for nursing home residents.
Some of these rights include the right to:
- Be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness
- Be free of both physical and mental abuse
- Receive adequate healthcare
- To have a say in all medical treatments and care
- Discontinue any treatment that is not of any benefit
- Basic living necessities
- To manage his or her own personal finances. If the resident’s finances are being managed by the nursing home, the resident has the option to ask for quarterly reports, and
- To present grievances on behalf of himself or herself or others to the staff or administrator of the facility, to governmental officials, or to any other person; and to recommend changes in policies and services to facility personnel…
The list presented here is not the full list of resident’s rights provided by law, but it does touch on some of the more important rights a nursing home resident should be aware of.
For example, the right to present a grievance to the administrators of the nursing home or to any government official or anyone else is a significant right that all residents have.
The right to report problems to the nursing home administration means that a resident cannot be evicted simply for bringing matters about his or her care or treatment to the attention of the nursing home authorities. Unfortunately, this is often a major fear that residents and their families have. It is one reason why nursing home abuse often goes unreported. It is important to know that you have the right to bring improper or inadequate care to the attention of the authorities and you have the right to consult with nursing home abuse counsel about your concerns – without the fear of being evicted.
It is also critical to know and understand the rights the law gives to nursing home residents so that violations can be reported.
Next we will look at when a nursing home resident can be evicted.
Illegal Nursing Home Evictions
Federal law governs all federally funded nursing homes. Residents in federally funded nursing homes can only be evicted for 6 specific reasons.
Before we describe when a nursing home resident can be evicted, however, let us first discuss what an illegal eviction looks like.
According to the American Council on Aging, involuntary discharges or illegal evictions are a real concern throughout the United States In fact, improper or illegal discharge is one of the top complaints made about nursing homes.
It may not surprise you to learn that financial motives play a major role in most illegal nursing home evictions. It is not uncommon for nursing homes to illegally evict residents without providing the required notice and time to apply for Medicaid, when those residents can no longer pay the bills.
Another financial cause of illegal evictions occurs when a nursing home discharges a resident in anticipation of that resident having a drop in funding. An example of this is when a nursing home discharges a resident because that person is transitioning from the higher-paying Medicare to the lower-paying Medicaid.
At least one research study found a pattern Skilled Nursing Home Facilities (SNFs) have of discharging residents who are Medicare recipients on the final day of full coverage (day 20) if they suspect that the resident will not be able to make the copayments when Medicare full coverage ends. The study found that the residents most often evicted on day 20 of full coverage were racial or ethnic minorities who lived in lower socioeconomic zip codes. The study’s findings support the conclusion that these facilities were prioritizing financial considerations over patient care.
Legal Grounds for Nursing Home Evictions
As noted above, there are only 6 legal reasons for transferring or evicting a nursing home resident.
- The facility closes
- The transfer or discharge is necessary because the resident’s needs cannot be met in the facility
- The resident no longer needs the facility’s services
- The safety of other individuals in the facility is endangered by the resident
- The health of individuals in the facility would otherwise be endangered
- The resident has failed, after reasonable and appropriate notice, to pay for (or to have paid under Medicare or Medicaid) a stay at the facility
It is important to consult with a nursing home lawyer even if your loved one is facing an eviction because residents do still have certain rights. For example, the nursing home must give the resident 30-days notice of an eviction.
In addition, you may have the right to appeal the eviction. So be certain to consult with nursing home counsel near you.
Florida Nursing Home Eviction Lawyers Can Help
Our attorneys are here to right wrongs and help injured individuals obtain the legal redress and compensation they deserve. If you have concerns for your loved one who is in a nursing home, contact us here or simply call our firm at: 777-JOHN. We serve clients throughout Florida. Our main office is in Orange Park, but we have consulting offices in Palatka, Middleburg, Keystone, Starke, Gainesville, and Ocala.