Does A Nursing Home Patient Have Rights? Can A Nursing Home Evict My Mother?
When a person becomes a patient at a nursing home, although they become a resident in the care of the facility they still retain their rights. If something changes and the nursing home no longer wants a resident to live at their facility, they can attempt to evict, transfer, discharge or otherwise require the patient to leave the facility. Sadly, thousands of Americans are discharged or evicted from nursing homes against their wishes every year.
Nursing Home patients have state and federal rights. Most patients do not know their rights, and many patients who are evicted from nursing homes never know they can file an appeal and fight for their rights. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act provides rights for nursing home residents in Illinois, and the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act provides rights for residents in Illinois nursing homes that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds.
Each state including Illinois has an ombudsman program established where a patient can appeal their nursing home eviction. Patients who want to fight a nursing home eviction can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health within 10 days after receiving the discharge notice. Once you file the request, the nursing home cannot discharge or transfer you while the appeal is pending.
There are situations when it is legal and within the rights of a nursing home to evict or discharge a patient.
1. Health Has Improved
If the patient’s health has improved and there is not a medical reason for them to be in the facility, a nursing home can evict a patient and require them to leave the facility.
2. Need Higher Level of Care
Not all nursing homes are equipped with the proper staff and equipment to treat all types of patients and all conditions. If a patient needs a higher level of care than the nursing home can provide, the nursing home can require the patient to leave the facility for the welfare of the patient.
3. Danger To Other People
If a nursing home patient is a danger to the safety of other patients or staff the patient can be required to leave the nursing home.
4. Failure To Pay
A patient is required to pay for their nursing home, including Medicaid, Medicare and other insurances. If after repeated notice a patient does not pay, the nursing home can evict them.
5. Facility Is Closing
If a nursing home is closing and will no longer be operating they can evict their patients and require them to leave the facility.
Sometimes the reason a patient is being evicted from a nursing home is financial. Not every nursing home accepts Medicaid patients. And, in some situations, it can be financially more lucrative for a nursing home to evict a patient and pay a fine, rather than to care for a patient.
If a nursing home facility threatens to evict a patient, their family should take action and consult with an elder law attorney to achieve the best possible outcome.
Is your loved one being evicted from a nursing home in Illinois? Our experienced elder law attorneys understand applicable laws and advise you on the best options to protect an elderly or disabled person in a nursing home. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-800-0112.