Nursing home evictions - or "force discharges" - are a lot more common than you would think. While there are federal regulations that govern such discharges, they are often not enforced by the states and, even when they are enforced they still allow for discharges in some situations.
Nursing homes will generally have their own guidelines as well.
Involuntary discharge can occur if the facility is unable to meet the resident’s needs or if it is necessary for the resident’s welfare. However, force discharges are also commonly attributed to the patient’s care not being paid. This can happen when private pay patients run out of resources and fall back on enrollment in Medicaid. Another common trigger for eviction notices occurs when Medicare patients change from being a patient under the Medicare program to requalifying for private pay or Medicaid. If the patient isn't prepared, there is a good chance that he or she won't qualify under Medicaid.
It is also possible for a family who is struggling to qualify for Medicaid to face a discharge if their loved one's account goes delinquent for a substantial period.
Living in a nursing home is a difficult experience for many patients and their families. A threat of eviction adds stress to the situation. The best line of defense against forced discharges is to select a good, well-rated facility and to make sure that your loved one is prepared financially, so that Medicaid can take care of their ongoing expenses, should long-term care become necessary.