Elderly man sitting alone and dejected on a concrete bench in a park

“Patient dumping” is a type of nursing home abuse that is all too common here in Texas. It occurs when a resident checks into a hospital for treatment— while the nursing home evicts them and rents the room to someone else. When the original patient is ready to return, the nursing home notifies them or the hospital that no beds are available. The elderly patient has nowhere to go.

Many nursing homes take advantage of the fact that some “patient dumping” victims do not realize that anything illegal has happened, so they do not contact a Dallas nursing home lawyer.

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What Does the Law Say?

Pursuant to federal regulations 42 CFR 483, the nursing home must permit each resident to remain in the facility and not discharge or transfer them unless one or more of the following elements are met:

  • The transfer or discharge is necessary for the resident’s welfare because the resident’s needs cannot be met in the facility
  • The transfer or discharge is appropriate because the resident’s health has improved sufficiently, so they no longer need the services provided by the facility
  • The safety of individuals in the facility is endangered due to the clinical or behavioral status of the resident
  • The health of individuals in the facility would otherwise be endangered
  • The resident has failed, after reasonable and appropriate notice, to pay for a stay at the facility
  • The facility ceases to operate.

Additionally, if a resident exercises their rights to appeal a transfer or discharge, the nursing home may not do so while the appeal is pending. This holds– unless it would endanger the resident’s health or safety or other individuals in the facility. The facility must document the danger that the failure to discharge or transfer would pose.

Another requirement is that before a nursing home transfers or discharges a patient, they must notify them and their representatives at least 30 days in advance.

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Why Do Nursing Homes Do This?

Why does “patient dumping” occur even though it is illegal? Money is typically at the root of this type of nursing home abuse. At Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP, we have observed that nursing homes often count on the individuals and their families not knowing or standing up for their rights. “Patient dumping” is unacceptable and a Dallas elder abuse lawyer can help you fight back.

Many “patient dumping” victims are the residents who require the nursing home to expend the most resources— whether in terms of staff time or higher levels of care. The nursing home hopes that by ridding itself of this person, it can replace them with a patient whose care is less labor-intensive– thereby saving money for the facility.

Residents on Medicaid also tend to be victims of “patient dumping” due to the low reimbursement rates that the facility receives from it. Again, the nursing home’s motive is to get rid of the Medicaid recipient and replace them with a patient who has a private insurance plan– or can fund the stay in the nursing home with their own resources.

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“Patient dumping” is a clear example of blatant nursing home abuse, and an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you demand justice. Here at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP, we know how to fight this. If you or a loved one has been a victim of “patient dumping,” contact us today for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, and we will work on a contingency fee basis for you– meaning you pay nothing unless your case prevails.

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