Patient dumping is not discussed as often as other forms of nursing home neglect, but it can cause serious harm. This practice can lead to a lack of necessary medical care as well as great psychological trauma. For this reason, victims of patient dumping are entitled to monetary compensation via a nursing home abuse claim.
About Patient Dumping
Patient dumping is perhaps one of the most disturbing forms of nursing home abuse. Patient dumping occurs when a nursing home gives away a resident's bed while he is receiving hospital care. When the resident is discharged from the hospital and wants to return to the nursing home, he is told there is no bed to return to. The resident's family must then struggle to find a suitable placement, since the resident cannot live independently under any circumstances
Reasons for Patient Dumping
Unscrupulous nursing homes are trying to illegally evict residents in order to maximize profit. Patient dumping victims are often those who require the most staff time and the highest levels of care. By illegally evicting these residents, a facility is free to offer beds to new residents who will use fewer company resources.
Medicaid recipients are also vulnerable to patient dumping due to Medicaid low reimbursement rates. By replacing Medicaid patients with those who can pay for their care with private, long-term care insurance or their own personal resources, the facility is able to maximize profit with a minimal amount of effort.
Patient Dumping Is Illegal
Federal law prohibits patient dumping. Under the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 42 CFR 483, a nursing home must permit a resident to remain in the facility unless one or more of the following conditions apply:
- The nursing home is closing its doors and will no longer be in business.
- The resident's presence is endangering the safety of individuals in the facility.
- The resident's presence is endangering the health of individuals in the facility.
- The resident's health has improved to the extent that he no longer needs the services provided by the facility.
- The resident's condition has changed, and the facility is no longer able to meet his care needs.
- The resident has failed to pay for his stay at the facility, despite having received reasonable and appropriate notice of the charges.
If a facility wishes to evict a resident, the reason for eviction must be specifically documented, and the appropriate parties must be contacted to ensure that the resident's future care needs will still be met.
Relationship to Other Forms of Nursing Home Abuse
Patient dumping can occur alongside other forms of nursing home abuse, including physical abuse, verbal abuse, medication theft, or understaffing. Talking with your loved one as well as other family members and visitors to the facility can help you determine if there are additional concerns regarding the quality of care that your loved one has received.
Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Claim
A nursing home abuse claim is a type of civil proceeding that requests compensation for medical treatment and pain and suffering related to the actions of the care facility. However, if your loved one is currently receiving Medicaid or Medicare benefits, these programs will have a lien on a percentage of any settlement that you recover.
To have a successful nursing home abuse claim, you must be able to establish the following three key elements:
Duty Of Nursing Home Care
Based on the terms of the facility contract, the nursing home had a legal duty to provide care to your loved one.
Breach Of Nursing Home Duties
The nursing home failed to provide an acceptable level of care to your loved one.
Damages In A Nursing Home Neglect Case
As a result of the nursing home's actions, your loved one suffered specific damages. This can include the worsening of a pre-existing medical condition or psychological distress due to being illegally evicted from the facility.
Retaining the services of an experienced nursing home abuse attorney is the best way to protect your loved one's legal rights. The dedicated legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault can locate evidence of negligence, document damages, and negotiate for the highest possible settlement. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.