Nursing Home Justice Blog

What Is Patient Dumping in Denver Nursing Homes?

Written By:

Attorney Mac Hester

Date Posted:

December 15, 2023

Nursing home patient dumping is a problem in Denver and throughout the country. Advocates for the elderly and disabled say that nationally thousands of people each year experience involuntary evictions. A report by the Office of Inspector General in 2021 found that illegal facility-initiated transfers are a major concern. State ombudsman programs report that improper evictions are the top reason for patient complaints.

Sometimes patients who are dumped do not file complaints because they may not know they can. But nursing home patients who are illegally evicted do have rights. If you or your family member believe you were dumped from a nursing home in Denver, it can be to your benefit to speak with an attorney.

Evictions from Denver Nursing Homes

Patient dumping is when an individual is involuntarily evicted from a nursing home. They may enter the hospital for surgery or another treatment and then be told when they try to return to the facility that their bed is no longer available. In other cases, they may be dropped off at a family member’s house or even left at a bus stop.

Why Do Facilities Dump Patients?

Patient dumping is typically driven by profits. Some patients are more valuable to nursing facilities than others, depending on how they are paying for their stay.

When a senior enters a nursing home, their care is first paid for by Medicare. But Medicare only pays for stays of up to 100 days. Non-seniors may have private insurance that pays for short-term care. If a patient needs longer-term care and they cannot afford to pay out of pocket, they will have to turn to Medicaid if they are eligible.

Medicaid, known as Health First Colorado in the state, is designed to provide long-term care for lower-income patients. It does not reimburse nursing homes as much as Medicare does. Consequently, nursing homes can make more money if they fill beds with short-term Medicare patients rather than long-term Medicaid residents. This can lead to patients being dumped when they have used up their Medicare benefits.

Tactics Nursing Facilities Use to Dump Patients

Here are some tactics facilities may use to evict patients:

  • They may not inform a patient that they can apply for Medicaid after their Medicare benefits have run out.
  • Facilities may stop accepting Medicaid and evict existing Medicaid patients.
  • Patients may be coerced or tricked into signing discharge paperwork in an effort to make it appear as if they have left voluntarily.

If you feel your loved one was illegally dumped from a nursing home, you could file a complaint to Colorado’s long-term care ombudsman. A nursing home abuse lawyer can advise you on your legal options.

Regulations Preventing Patient Dumping in Colorado

Nursing home patients are protected from involuntary evictions by state and federal patient dumping law. Code of Colorado Regulations 6 CCR 1101-1 Chapter 5 governs nursing homes in the state. Federal regulation 42 CFR § 483.15 says that facilities must allow residents to remain

When Can a Nursing Home Legally Discharge a Patient?

A facility can legally discharge a patient for these reasons:

  • The patient’s needs can no longer be met by the facility.
  • The person’s health has improved and they no longer require nursing care.
  • The patient is a danger to other residents of the facility due to their behavior.
  • Other patients’ health would be endangered.
  • The facility ceases operations.
  • The person has not paid for their stay after reasonable notice.

In most cases, a 30-day discharge notice must be provided. The notice must also document why the person is being discharged and provide physician’s signature or other proof of why the person is being discharged.

At this point, if dumping is suspected, it is crucial to have an attorney examine the circumstances.

What Kind of Compensation Is Available for Dumped Patients?

If you or your family member were injured due to being illegally evicted from a nursing home, you may be able to obtain compensation. Each case is unique, but you are entitled to economic and non-economic damages associated with the illegal eviction.

Types of damages you may be able to ask for in your claim could include payment for medical bills, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Nursing homes are often run by large corporations with teams of lawyers. To have a chance of success in a claim, you must build a strong case.

How to Pursue a Claim Against a Nursing Home

You will need evidence of illegal dumping to be successful in a claim against a nursing home. You may not know what evidence is needed or what could be useful in your claim. It’s likely that nursing facilities will try to hide evidence of dumping.

You will also need to prove that you or your loved one suffered injuries or other damages. A nursing home rights lawyer in Colorado who regularly handles these types of cases can be invaluable in investigating what happened, assessing damages, and filing your claim.

Was Your Loved One Dumped by a Nursing Home? Call Now

Patient dumping in Colorado nursing homes is a serious problem. It requires a serious and effective response. If you or your loved one was dumped by a nursing home, you have the right to hold the facility accountable. You may be able to get compensation through a legal claim.

Nursing Home Justice can help you after you or your loved one were illegally transferred out of a nursing home. We will investigate your circumstances and gather evidence to build a strong case to get you the compensation you deserve.

Call (303) 775-8128 to schedule your free consultation today and get justice for your family.

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