Involuntary Transfers & Discharges from Nursing Homes  
Can my nursing homes transfer or discharge me without my consent?

No, except for very limited reasons. State and federal laws help protect residents from being transferred from the facility without their permission unless:

  • the transfer is required for medical reasons;
  • your health or welfare of other residents or employees of the nursing home is in danger;
  • you do not pay the nursing home for allowable charges;
  • your health has improved so that you no longer need nursing home services;
  • the nursing home closes.

Can I be discharged if I complain about my care?

No!

Residents and their representatives have the right to present grievances or to recommend changes in policies and services to facility staff, to government officials, to ombudsmen or to others without retaliation. Nursing homes that retaliate against residents are subject to civil fines.

If I cannot pay privately anymore and go on Medicaid, can I be asked to leave?

Usually not.  If the nursing home is certified by the Medicaid program and provides the care you need, it must accept Medicaid if you become eligible during your stay. Most Georgia nursing homes are certified by the Medicaid program.

What is an involuntary transfer?

Georgia law defines an involuntary transfer as any transfer from the nursing home not agreed to in writing by a nursing home resident or the resident's legal guardian. Another name for involuntary transfer is eviction.

These provisions only apply to transfers out of the facility. They do not apply to room changes within the nursing home, except for moves into and out of Medicare/Medicaid certified sections of a nursing home. Your rights in this situation are explained in the Ombudsman Fact Sheet, "Room and Roommate Changes in Nursing Homes."

What protections exist to ensure that I am not involuntarily transferred?

Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes must give you 30 days written notice before an involuntary transfer or discharge. The notices are not required if your situation involves a health care emergency or residents and/ or staff members are in danger. The written notice must contain the following information:

  • the reason for the transfer;
  • the effective date of the transfer;
  • where you will be transferred;
  • how to appeal;
  • the name, address and number of the responsible official in Heathcare Facility Regulation Division;
  • how to contact the Ombudsman program.

A copy of the written notice must be sent to you, your representative or legal guardian and your physician.

How do I appeal?

You may contact your Community Ombudsman to assist you in filing an appeal. In some cases, this will be referred to Legal Services so that an attorney can file the appeal for you and represent you at the hearing. You cannot be discharged from the facility until the hearing.

IF YOU DO RECEIVE A DISCHARGE NOTICE, OR IF THE HOME STATES THAT THEY WANT YOU TO LEAVE, CONTACT THE OMBUDSMAN IMMEDIATELY FOR ASSISTANCE.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

The information contained in this web site applies only to GEORGIA, USA. It is intended only as INFORMATION and does not constitute legal ADVICE, nor does reading, downloading or otherwise using this site create an attorney-client relationship.  Anyone seeking specific legal advice should contact an attorney licensed in the appropriate state, and should never rely upon the information provided herein, or any other web site, for that matter.