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Nursing Homes Being Accused of Patient Dumping

Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on May 31, 2016 in Nursing Home Neglect

nursing home patient dumpingElder abuse advocates are accusing nursing homes of a practice called "patient dumping," wherein those who are most vulnerable are being evicted from facilities.

Resident allies who spoke with the Associated Press suggest that nursing home residents are dumping or discharging residents who are poor and/or suffer from dementia. Removing these patients makes room for residents who require less assistance and can make a facility more profitable.

According to a report from the Associated Press, in 2014, there were more than 11,300 complaints of patient dumping reported to ombudsman programs. The number of patient dumping complaints have increased by more than 50 percent since 2000.

Residents that come to be regarded as difficult, such as those who require a greater level of care or exhibit signs of dementia-related aggression, are often targeted. Residents whose families have made complaints about a resident's treatment are also targeted for early discharge.

Families can fight the discharge and win an appeal, but some homes will disregard these rulings and it's a difficult thing to enforce. Some families have sued facilities in order to get their loved ones back into a nursing home, but even when they won, the facility would refuse to admit the individual.

Federal law allows unrequested transfers if a facility closes; if the resident, or their family, fails to pay; if there is a risk to the health and safety of others; or if the facility notes an improvement in the resident's condition and nursing home services are no longer needed. A transfer may also occur if the facility can no longer meet the person's need, which is the most commonly used reason for evictions.

Advocates believe that economic factors play a large role in patient dumping. Some facilities would prefer to have a resident who does not rely on Medicare or Medicaid to pay the facility costs.

The nursing home neglect lawyers at D'Amico & Pettinicchi believe every resident should receive the care they deserve. Those who are most in need should receive respect and dignity, rather than be turned away for being "too difficult."