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When we entrust our elderly loved ones’ care to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, we should have confidence that the facility will honor care agreements and abide by state and federal laws. Unfortunately, there have been multiple occurrences in recent months of senior living homes evicting their most vulnerable residents. In some cases, senior citizens are sent to homeless shelters or dilapidated motels. In other cases, residents are left on the streets.
Lakeview Terrace, a nursing home in Los Angeles, was accused of evicting an 88-year old man with dementia, placing him in an unregulated boarding house. Bishop Care Center in Bishop, CA has been accused of taking similar actions, discharging a 67-year old wheelchair-bound woman whose family was furious.
These nursing homes claim their involuntary discharges of residents were valid, based on the residents’ failure to pay as agreed or for other contractual reasons. However, there has been speculation that some nursing homes are pushing out Medicaid patients, trying to make room for COVID-19 patients or other short-term patients covered by Medicare. The average California state Medicaid reimbursement for nursing home care is $219/day while for Medicare patients, nursing homes may recover more than $1,000/day for up to 20 days.
There are federal laws protecting nursing home residents, mandating a minimum 30-day notice period and that evicted seniors be placed in a safe environment. The reality is that, with access to nursing homes by family members and others prohibited or strictly limited as a way to limit the spread of COVID-19, it is possible that some homes are taking advantage of the lack of scrutiny and seizing opportunities to fill beds with what they perceive as better revenue-generating residents.
If your loved one needs skilled care, having a main and back-up plan for their care and living arrangements could come in handy, should you find yourself in the position of learning your family member was evicted from their nursing home.
At The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center, we are committed to helping people protect what matters most. Contact us today to learn more!