Each year, thousands of citizens are involuntarily evicted and/or transferred from nursing facility homes. Many of these involuntary discharges do not follow lawful procedures.
According to Kentucky Revised Statute 900 KAR 2:050, the only legitimate reasons to be discharged from a nursing home are as follows:
• Transfer or discharge is necessary to meet the resident’s welfare, and the resident’s welfare cannot be met in the facility;
• Resident is well enough to be discharged to a lower level of care and no longer needs nursing home placement;
• Resident has become a danger to self or others in the facility;
• The health of individuals in the facility would otherwise be endangered;
• Resident has failed, after reasonable and appropriate notice, to pay for (or to have paid under Medicare, Medicaid, or state supplementation) a stay at the facility; or
• The facility ceases to operate.
(The need for all discharges must be appropriately documented by physicians and clinical staff. Moreover, the facility is responsible to arrange for safe and appropriate discharge.)
A nursing facility must give you (and a family member) a written notice with at least 30 days notice before a transfer or discharge. In order to ensure that the residents have been made aware of their rights and afforded the opportunity to appeal, the nursing home must comply with all of the following notice requirements:
• The reason for transfer/discharge.
• The date of the proposed transfer/discharge.
• The location to which the nursing facility proposes transfer/ discharge
• Resident’s right to a hearing to appeal the transfer/discharge.
• Resident’s right to representation at the hearing.
• If a resident is being transferred to a hospital, information regarding holding your bed and readmission to the facility.
• Contact information for the State Long-term Care Ombudsman & Kentucky Protection and Advocacy.
If you or a family member would like more information involuntary nursing home transfers and discharges, please contact your local ombudsman:
LEGAL AID OF THE BLUEGRASS
LTC OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM
Waynanne Caudill, District LTC Ombudsman
546 East Main St., STE 1
Morehead, KY 40351
606-784-8921 ext. 2721
(The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Waynanne Caudill.)