When can a nursing home discharge a resident?
According to Florida Statute §400.0255, a nursing home must provide notice to a resident it is discharging at least 30 days in advance of the date of discharge. There are multiple reasons which a nursing home can cite for discharging a patient – the following are recognized as valid reasons for patient discharge, except in the case wherein the discharge would be medically harmful to the patient:
-A discharge from the nursing home is medically necessary or would be medically beneficial to the patient, if the facility cannot meet the medical needs of the patient
-The patient poses a threat to the health and safety of other patients or of the facility’s employees
-The facility itself is unsafe for the patient
-The resident no longer requires nursing home care due to an improvement in condition
If a patient feels that he/she has been unjustly discharged, that resident has the right to a fair hearing to challenge the proposed discharge. If the patient files a request for a hearing within 10 days of receiving notice of discharge, the discharge is stayed until the hearing decision is reached. The patient has up to 90 days to file a request for a hearing, but he/she may be discharged after 30 days of initially receiving notice of discharge if the request for a hearing was not filed within the 10 days after the receipt of that notice.
It is important to note that the notice of discharge provided by the facility must specify the reason for discharge under state or federal law, as well as the procedures for appeal; if this information is not provided, the discharge is not valid.