How to Challenge a Nursing Home Eviction Notice, and Other Tips

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■ If a nursing home discharges a resident to a hospital, the home must generally hold the bed for a week or two, as required by state law, in case the resident wants to return. If the resident stays in the hospital for a longer time, the nursing home must accept a resident paying with Medicaid to the next available bed (for Medicaid patients).

■ Nursing homes are required to post the names and contact information for state agencies, advocacy groups, adult protective services as well as the long-term-care ombudsman program and other groups that could be helpful.

■ Nursing homes must also post a statement that residents have the right to file complaints.

■ Even if residents choose not to appeal the discharge, if they feel it was inappropriate, they should file a complaint with the state survey agency to conduct an investigation, said Lindsay Heckler, a lawyer with Center for Elder Law and Justice.

Tony Chicotel, staff attorney at California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, had two words of advice for residents facing an eviction: Don’t go.

“If you feel like the proposed discharge is not appropriate at this time or unsafe, don’t go,” he said. “Stay and make them do a better job of doing a better discharge. Get yourself more time, better deliberation and better planning. Make them do their jobs.”

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