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NPR Publishes Story on States Efforts to Crack Down on Involuntary Discharge

May 30, 2017

A recent story by NPR covers several states' attempts to crack down on involuntary discharge from nursing homes.  Maryland is suing nursing home chain Neiswanger Management Services (NMS) for Medicaid fraud.  Maryland's State Attorney General Brian Frosh stated that more than half of all involuntary discharges in Maryland come from nursing homes run by NMS.  The lawsuit alleges that NMS charged the state for discharge planning services it didn't deliver.  Nursing homes are obligated to ensure that discharged residents go somewhere safe.  Yet, NMS has sent residents to homeless shelters and unlicensed board and care homes. Frosh asserts that NMS was discharging residents for its own financial gain.  Medicare payments for long-term care only last for 100 days; NMS evicted residents just as they were transitioning from Medicare. 

Other states are also fighting unfair involuntary discharges.  In Illinois, according to the last five years of data, nursing home discharges have more than doubled. State lawmakers have proposed legislation which aims to crack down on improperly discharging residents, ensuring that residents won't get discharged for complaining too much or requiring too much staff time.  Read more on NPR.

Involuntary transfer and discharge is the #1 complaint reported to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.  For additional information and resources, visit the Consumer Voice webpage and the National LTC Ombudsman Resource Center webpage.

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