Did You Know?
Transfer & Discharge Rights
Did you know that the residents of nursing homes have very specific
rights regarding the facility's ability to transfer or discharge them
from the facility? There are six conditions that would justify the
transfer or discharge of a resident from the facility. These include:
- The resident's health has improved sufficiently so the resident no
longer needs the services provided by the facility;
- It is necessary for the resident's welfare and the resident's needs
cannot be met in the facility;
- The health of individuals would otherwise be endangered;
- The safety of individuals is endangered;
- The resident has failed, after reasonable and appropriate notice,
to pay; and/or
- The facility ceases to operate.
The facility must have adequate documentation in the resident's records
to substantiate a transfer or discharge. Before transferring or discharging
a resident, the facility must also provide written notice to the resident,
and if known, to a family member or legal representative. This notice
must be made at least 30 days before the discharge date. The notice must
contain all of the following information:
- The reason for the transfer or discharge and the effective date;
- The location to where the resident is to be transferred
- A statement that the resident has the right to appeal to the state;
- The name, address and phone number of the state Licensing and Certification
- The name, address and phone number of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman;
- A statement that the resident may represent him/herself or use legal
counsel, a relative, friend or other spokesman;
- A statement that the resident or resident's representative must be
allowed to review, prior to and during the appeal hearing, the resident's
medical records and the documents to be used by the state;
- A statement that the resident may bring witnesses to the hearing;
- A statement that the resident should file the appeal within 10 days
so as not to jeopardize the ability of the state to make a ruling prior
to the discharge date;
- A statement that the facility may permit the resident to remain even
if the state has not made a decision within 30 days; and
- A statement that if the state upholds the discharge notice, that the
resident should be prepared to be transferred.
The facility's refusal to readmit a resident during a bed hold in an
acute care hospital will be treated as an involuntary transfer, allowing
the resident the right to appeal the transfer. If the resident is on Medi-Cal
or has another source of payment, the resident can remain in the hospital
until the final determination of the hearing officer. If the resident
has no other source of payment, the hearing and determination must be
made within 24 hours.
Note that a readmission after a bed hold is not a new admission, but
a continued stay.
The resident has to have resided in the facility for at least thirty
days before the above-mentioned 30-day notice is applicable. Regardless
of how long a resident has resided in a facility, the facility must provide
sufficient discharge planning to ensure that the resident is transferred
to an appropriate alternative facility.
(Source: Code of Federal Regulations 483.12 (a); California Health
& Safety Code §1599.1).
If you have questions about any of the information outlined above, please
call the CANHR office at 1-800-474-1116.