According to American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) data, more and more elderly nursing home residents are being evicted from nursing homes each year. In California alone, more than 1,500 elders on record were involuntarily removed from their nursing homes. The issue has caught national attention not only because the incident rate is on the rise, but also because it appears nursing homes are ejecting elders for profit.
According to several news reports, studies, and a lawsuit filed by the Maryland attorney general last year, nursing homes around the country are evicting elders who run out of Medicare funds, and wasting no time to do so. The complaints note that there is little or no effort to assist the elders to change into Medicaid recipients as their Medicare funds dwindle. It has been alleged that the higher rates of Medicare, compared to Medicaid, are attractive to nursing homes. By evicting a non-Medicare elder, a nursing home can open space for a new Medicare elder, potentially raising its own profits in the process.
Not only is “patient dumping” as it is sometimes referred unsavory from a moral standpoint, but it is also illegal. Within the extensive lawsuit filed in Maryland, there are citations of examples of nursing home resident ejections that can be categorized as nursing home abuse or neglect. There are cases in which people were forcibly taken out of a nursing home and left on the doorstep of a nearby hospital or another assisted living facility.
If the allegations within the lawsuit are upheld by ruling courts, then it could be the beginning of more lawsuits around the country against nursing homes that have swapped Medicaid elders for Medicare elders without due cause. Damages sought in subsequent lawsuits could include cost of medical care, assisted living, emotional anguish, and more.
For more information about this ongoing story of nursing home abuse and patient dumping, be sure to regularly visit Brown & Barron LLC and look for updated blog entries. If you think you have a nursing home abuse case of your own that should be reviewed by a Baltimore injury attorney, do not hesitate to contact our team at your first opportunity.