Can a Patient Be Kicked out of a Nursing Home?

elderly using a walker

If your loved one resides in a nursing home, then you will do everything you can to ensure that they are properly cared for. Across the United States, there are approximately 1.5 million people residing in nursing homes, a number that is expected to increase significantly over the next decade. However, there are various struggles that residents and their family members face when they need extended care inside these facilities. Often, this has to do with the affordability and quality of care at certain facilities. When a person is a resident in a nursing home, there are issues that can arise that could lead to them being evicted. Here, we want to discuss why a nursing home resident could face eviction and how you can handle an eviction notice in these situations.

Why Would a Nursing Home Resident Face Eviction?

Evictions from nursing homes can place a considerable burden on the resident and their family members. However, there generally has to be a very good reason for a nursing home to evict a resident. Nursing home residents have significant rights that are established by both federal and state law, and these facilities cannot simply kick somebody out because they want to. Some of the legitimate reasons why a nursing home may be able to evict a resident include:

  • Medical care. If the medical care that a resident needs is beyond the scope of what the nursing home can provide, the resident will need to be moved to another facility. It is important for both a resident’s family and the facility to really know what care is required and what the nursing home is capable of delivering before the resident moves in.
  • Care no longer needed. If a resident no longer needs the care provided by the facility, then it may be necessary for them to move out to free needed space.
  • Resident behavior. There are times when a nursing home resident behaves in a manner that causes other residents or staff to feel unsafe. This can include violent behavior or harassment by the resident.
  • Financial issues. If it reaches a point where a resident can no longer pay for their long-term care, they could face eviction from the nursing home. However, removal based on financial difficulty is difficult.
  • Nursing home closure. If a nursing home has to close down, every resident will essentially face eviction and will have to be transferred to another facility.

Even when there are legitimate reasons for evicting a nursing home resident, there are specific guidelines that the nursing home must follow in order for the transfer or discharge to be lawful.

Medicaid Rights Afforded to Nursing Home Residents

Two-thirds of all nursing home residents inside the US receive Medicaid. Medicaid is a state and federal program that covers the cost of much of the nursing home care inside of Medicaid-certified facilities (which is the vast majority of nursing homes). There are two laws that have been enacted by Congress that outline the rights of nursing home residents who are Medicare or Medicaid recipients. One of the laws is called the Nursing Home Resident Protection Amendments of 1999, and this amended the Social Security Act to prohibit the improper discharge or transfer of a Medicaid resident if the nursing home where they are residing with drawls from participation as a Medicaid-certified program.

Handling a Nursing Home Eviction Notice

If a resident or their family members receive an eviction notice from a nursing home, the typical time frame for the completion of an eviction is 30 to 60 days. It is important to make sure that the notice includes the reason the resident is being discharged or transferred, the eviction date, as well as the location where the resident will be going (if the eviction is a transfer). An eviction notice should also include paperwork about the right to appeal the eviction as well as the right to a formal hearing process and legal counsel.

At Callahan & Blaine, our Irvine nursing home abuse attorneys are standing by to help if your loved one is facing eviction from a nursing home. You can contact us online for a free consultation of your case by or calling (714) 241-4444.