Common Nursing Home Questions

Answered by Attorney Barbara Boone McGinnis

My father is to be admitted to a nursing home. How should I sign the admission agreement?

If you are your father’s attorney-in-fact under a durable power of attorney, you should sign his name by your name and follow it with “AIF” for attorney-in-fact. If you are his conservator, you should sign your name and follow it with “Conservator” and provide the facility with a copy of your letters from the court authorizing you to act. You should also advise the facility you are not able to accept personal liability for your father’s charges.

Does a nursing home provide a reduced level of care to a resident receiving Medicaid?

No, nursing homes must provide the same care, depending on their needs, for all residents regardless of source of payment. 

Does a nursing home resident lose his nursing home bed by being readmitted to the hospital?

Not necessarily. The nursing home is not required to hold a bed at no charge. If the resident requests that a specific bed be held, he or she may be charged a fee to hold that bed but he or she may not be charged a bed- hold fee for the right to return to the first available bed.

Can the nursing home simply tell me I have to move my mother? What kind of notice should I expect and what are valid reasons for discharge?

The nursing home must give your mother or her legal representative 30 days written notice of the discharge.  In a few situations the period of notice can be less than 30 days. Those circumstances include:

  1. The health or safety of individuals in the nursing home would be endangered by your mother remaining in the nursing home
  2. Your mother’s urgent medical needs require an immediate transfer or discharge or
  3. Your mother has not resided at the nursing home for 30 days

A nursing home may can force a resident to move for one of the following reasons:

  1. The resident has failed to make the required payment for her stay
  2. Transfer or discharge is necessary for your mothers welfare and the nursing home cannot meet your mothers needs
  3. The safety or health of individuals in the nursing home, other than your mother, is endangered by her actions or
  4. The facility ceases to operate.

My spouse passed away on the 25th of the month. Can the skilled nursing facility require that I pay of a full month of care?

No, assuming the resident’s personal property is promptly cleared from the room the facility cannot charge privately for the additional days. 

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