Eviction of a resident can happen for many reasons at a skilled nursing facility, however, very few facilities understand the proper protocols, which can cause some undue legal action.  In recent months, resident eviction has become a more prominent issue, even making national headlines.  It is important that you are aware of the rules you must follow, and how to make the process less intimidating for the resident.

The federal Nursing Home Reform Act applies to any nursing facility that accepts Medicare or Medicaid, and gives patients certain rights, as well as mandates protocols for transfer or discharge of a patient.  Before you begin an eviction process, you should know the six permissible reasons:

  • If the patient requires a higher level of care than you can provide.
  • If the patient no longer requires care at your facility.
  • If the patient is endangering the safety of others at your facility.
  • If the patient is endangering the safety of other patients at your facility.
  • If the patient has failed to pay for services.
  • If the facility is closing.

Proper protocol dictates that you provide the resident with a written notice that provides as much detail as possible about the reason why they are being discharged (evicted).  The notice must include the effective date, the location where the patient will be transferred or discharged, the patient’s rights, and contact information for other agencies that could assist the patient.

It is important to remember that not every SNF can meet the needs of every patient, therefore, these protocols must be in place.  There may come a time when you will need to evict a patient for a variety of reasons – just remember that there are specific protocols you must follow for that discharge.  Make sure your discharge procedures meet these required needs.

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