|Bruce Anderson about a year before his accident.|
But the home refused to readmit him, even after being ordered to do so by the state. Nearly nine months later, Anderson, 66, is still in the hospital.
“I’m frustrated,” said his daughter, Sara Anderson. “You cannot just dump someone in the hospital.”
Anderson said her father, who has a brain injury that causes dementia-like symptoms, is confined to the hospital bed and frequently given anti-psychotic medications. She believes the nursing home, Norwood Pines Alzheimer’s Care Center, refused to readmit him because it wanted to make room for more lucrative and less burdensome residents.
“I didn’t have any question this was about money,” she said.
Bruce Anderson is the victim of a flawed readmission system for patients who want to return to their nursing homes after spending time in the hospital.
Nursing home residents are entitled to hearings under federal law to determine whether they should be readmitted after hospitalization. The state Department of Health Care Services holds the administrative hearings, but has said it is not responsible for enforcing the rulings.
But the state Department of Public Health, which oversees nursing homes, neglects to enforce the rulings and sometimes disagrees with them, according to advocates and court documents.
That leaves residents like Anderson, who won his hearing in July, with little recourse — and not many places to go. And since many nursing home residents have publicly-funded insurance, it means taxpayers are on the hook for hospital stays long after the patients are ready for discharge.
“Federal and state law have created a complicated and expensive process to ensure residents are not abandoned by their nursing homes,” said Tony Chicotel, a staff attorney at the nonprofit California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. “It fundamentally doesn’t work.” (Continue)
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The Agonizing Limbo Of Abandoned Nursing Home Residents