Patient Dumping Accusations Against Some Nursing Homes
Accusations of patient dumping are growing across the U.S. Climbing 57 percent since 2000, a total of 11,331 associated complaints were received by long-term care ombudsmen in 2014 alone.
Patients are being discharged by some nursing homes when their care becomes laborious, in favor of admitting patients who require less care, which is also more profitable for the facility.
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Patient dumping is a questionable practice. It and related complaints are the most commonly reported in the U.S. since 2010. There has been a spike in lawsuits and complaints across the country, though these records only shine a partial light on the problem. Experts say it is hard to catch patient dumping, and the laws surrounding lawful circumstances for resident discharge are difficult to enforce.
Nursing home proponents say that certain residents are discharged for their own safety or to protect other residents when their case becomes difficult to manage.
These discharges often take place without challenge, as families simply don’t know where to turn for assistance. Even if they appealed the discharge, some nursing homes have been known to ignore rulings in favor of the family.
Certain Patients Commonly Targeted
In most patient dumping complaints, the nursing home residents tend to fit common criteria.
- They have been diagnosed with dementia and may have shown aggression related to their disease
- They are not wealthy
- Their family members have voiced complaints about the nursing home’s care
- They require more care than other residents
Their unfair discharge can have a negative impact on the resident. Eviction from a nursing home uproots the resident from their community, removing them from familiar people and surroundings.