Legislation is Being Considered to End Nursing Home Patient "Dumping"

One woman's efforts to protect nursing home patients may lead to a new state law that prohibits elderly patients from being evicted, or "dumped," from nursing homes. The woman first became involved in patient "dumping" in 2007 when she paid a nursing home $12,000 to care for her elderly aunt, who at the time had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and was unable to speak.

Twenty-four hours later, she received a phone call. Her aunt was being rushed to the hospital after suffering a seizure. When her aunt was ready to be discharged, the nursing home did not take her back. While this sort of patient "dumping is not uncommon in nursing homes, she later found out that it is against federal law. The state investigated in 2007 and found that the nursing home "did not provide a safe discharge plan" for the woman's aunt. As a result, she spent weeks in a hospital psychiatric ward until her niece found a new home for her aunt.

"Sally’s Bill", which is expected to become law in one state, would require nursing homes to educate residents’ families. “All I’m asking is to give us a copy of the laws,” the advocate said.  The state investigated in 2007 and found the facility "did not provide a safe discharge plan" for the woman. As a result, she spent weeks in a hospital psychiatric ward until her niece found a new home for her aunt. For more, read the story.

 


Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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