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Dear Advocate…
Bed Holding


Dear Advocate,

My son is in a nursing home, and has been a resident there for over 2 years. He has Medi-Cal coverage, and faces an operation soon. I am afraid that when he goes to the hospital the nursing home will not take him back. It happened before in another facility. What rights does he have?

Sincerely,
Worried Father in L.A.

Dear Worried Father,

The facility must provide your son with a written notice explaining the right to hold his bed for up to seven days paid by Medi-Cal. The facility must readmit your son if he returns within the 7 days, and allow him to return to the first available bed after the 7 days are up. Make sure that you notify the facility within 24 hours of the transfer to the acute care facility of your son’s intent to return to the facility and of his desire to hold the bed.

Note: Private pay patients and those whose care is covered by Medicare also have the seven day bed hold right but will have to pay “reasonable charges,” not to exceed the daily private pay rate for holding their bed. Bed hold rights are established by both federal regulations (42 CFR Section 483.12(b) and state law and regulations (Health & Safety Code Section 1599.1 and Title 22 Section 72520).

The notice must also advise your son that he has the right to file a complaint with the Department of Health Services, Licensing and Certification if the bed hold and return provisions are not honored by the facility. Contact CANHR for assistance in filing a complaint about bed hold violations.