Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Agonizing Limbo Of Abandoned Nursing Home Residents

Bruce Anderson about a year before his accident.
A bad bout of pneumonia sent Bruce Anderson to Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento last May. As soon as he recovered, hospital staff tried to return him to the nursing home where he had been living for four years.

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)

Full Article & Source:
The Agonizing Limbo Of Abandoned Nursing Home Residents


John said...

This has to be so agonizing for the family. But, it also lets people know that if you have a beef with the facility, they will find a way to get rid of you and "the problem." Nursing home reform has been in the works for years and still there's a long way to go.

Dana T said...

John you are correct; our facility refused to readmit my mom- when I appealed and won (although I no longer wanted my LO at said facility) the and under oath, the facility stated I made too many complaints- they were valid serious complaints that I attempted to resolve with the facility
1. restricting visitation
2. Unlicense/unsupervised people feeding residents (violation of CA regulation)
3. Toxic plants, dirty meal trays and more left within reach to residents who were left unsupervised

We need to collectively stop this blatant abuse and violation of state and federal regulations...