Facility-initiated Discharges

McKnight’s recently reported that CMS may finally get serious about stopping “illegal dumping” of nursing home residents. Consumer advocates and industry experts criticize nursing home discharge policies. In the past, nursing homes would evict residents when they applied for Medicaid.

Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General disclosed in a report that nursing homes refuse or fail to provide timely, complete and accurate facility-initiated discharge notices. The report also criticized a lack of data on facility-initiated discharges by nursing homes. The OIG also recommended that CMS assess the effectiveness of its enforcement actions in cases of non-compliant facility-initiated discharge.

CMS should keep an eye on wrongful discharges since nursing homes rarely comply with standard requirements to notify ombudsmen of intended moves. Investigators called on CMS to remind nursing homes of the federal requirements.

Shanna Weitz is the report’s lead analyst. She told McKnight’s Long-Term Cares News:

“Providers could look to their ombudsmen and again look to those requirements about the six allowable reasons for discharges, and properly filling out those notices and make sure they’re following those regulations.”