Sunday, December 26, 2010

Patient rights overlooked in nursing home evictions | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal

An investigation by The Indianapolis Star found numerous examples of what the state's ombudsman for long-term care calls “a major problem”: nursing homes evicting patients without regard for their rights.

In one case, an Auburn facility dumped a resident at an emergency room and refused to take him back, leaving him stranded at the hospital for three weeks until he could find another home. In another case, a Bedford home tried to evict a brain-damaged teenager who had no safe place to go.

The newspaper also found that the state almost never punishes nursing homes, even after it has been made aware that a facility is violating state and federal laws.

“I think if we had a better enforcement system or a more punitive enforcement system, people would quit” wrongly evicting residents, said long-term care ombudsman Arlene Franklin of the state's Family and Social Services Administration. “If there were a harsher penalty for that, they wouldn't do so many inappropriate discharges.”

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