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Patient Dumping: You Have Rights Under California Law

By Walton Law APCOctober 4, 2023February 20th, 2024No Comments

Patient dumping or involuntary discharge refers to an illegal eviction of a patient from a nursing home or any other long-term care facility. There are strict state and federal regulations in place to prevent patient dumping. You may be eligible to recover compensation if you experienced this unethical practice. You should get in touch with a skilled nursing home abuse attorney at Walton Law immediately to understand your legal rights and seek compensation. 

Patient Dumping in California Nursing Homes 

Patient dumping often takes the form of hospital dumping. The facility may send the patient to a hospital for treating an acute condition and refuse to take them back. In fact, the nursing home may give up their bed or room to another resident. Many dumped patients have nowhere to turn to and return to their families who are inept to take care of them. The less fortunate patients end up in homeless shelters, motels, or on the streets. 

If you or someone you love was recently dumped from a California nursing home facility, you may have time to file an abuse or appeal claim. You need to talk to an experienced nursing home abuse attorney to identify the best route to move forward. 

Common Reasons for Patient Dumping 

Patient dumping is against the law, but facilities do this for a wide array of reasons. The most common reason is demanding care. The resident may need more care than the facility is willing to provide at that monthly cost. Patient dumping can also occur following physical altercations or emotional outbursts. In most cases, this practice is financially motivated. Private insurance companies and Medicare tend to provide higher rates than Medi-Cal (Medicaid). Medi-Cal patients are less profitable for nursing homes as compared to those covered by private insurance companies or Medicare. In addition, Medicare patients have shorter stays allowing for quicker turnover and higher profits. 

Unfortunately, there is an alarming outburst of elderly care facilities dumping patients from the vulnerable and low income Medi-Cal bucket. 

You Have Legal Rights 

In California, nursing home facilities are required to hold a resident’s bed for at least 7 days after the patient is transferred to a hospital. This is meant to prevent hospital dumping. Federal regulations also require: 

  • Facilities to provide 30 days’ notice before discharging or transferring a resident. This is not required under specific circumstances, such as where the resident’s health has improved enough to be discharged. An exception also applies if the resident is a danger to the safety of others or a danger to themselves, have urgent medical needs, or have lived in the facility for less than 30 days. 
  • Written notice provided by the nursing home needs to include specific information about the reason for transfer, effective date, location of hospital, and information for filing an appeal 
  • Appropriate documentation needs to be provided by the facility regarding the medical record 

Legal Help is Here from Top-Rated Nursing Home Injury Attorneys in California 

If you or a loved one was dumped by a long-term care facility, the skilled nursing home attorneys at Walton Law, APC can recover damages on your behalf. Our experienced and capable elderly home attorneys offer top-grade legal representation backed by decades of successful litigation. We are happy to provide you with a free case evaluation. Call us at (866) 338-7079 or reach us online.