Entering a long-term care center is a difficult process for patients and their loved ones. Not only do they have to contend with the reasons that led them to the center and emotional toll such a stay can have on a family, but they must also consider how to pay for the care and what will happen if they cannot afford it. This last piece is one that keeps patients and loved ones up at night.
However, patients at long-term care centers gain certain rights to protect them in addition to their rights as citizens of the United States. Patients’ rights address concerns such as the type of care and medication they receive as well as which doctors may treat them. Patients are also guaranteed a certain level of privacy concerning their treatments and other personal issues while their religious beliefs and civil liberties are also taken into consideration.
Most importantly, however, patients have rights concerning their discharge or transfer from one long-term care center to another. Patients are protected from discharge or transfer unless the following conditions are met:
- The care center can no longer provide the standard of care needed by the patient
- The patient no longer requires the level of care provided by the long-term care center
- The long-term care center goes out of business
- The patient did not pay for their care either through private pay, Medicare, or Medicaid
This last point is a concern to most patients and their loved ones, but there is a way to avoid being discharged from a care center in this case. First, a reasonable amount of time must pass before a patient is allowed to be discharged due to non-payment, which means that a patient will not be refused service immediately. This gives family members time to speak with an experienced elder law attorney to determine the correct strategy to find, get, and pay for the care needed. During this time, the elder law attorney can assist in qualifying for benefits such as Medicaid or VA Healthcare and can also help come up with alternative plans..
If you have more questions about your rights as a patient at a long-term care center in Ohio, or if you’re currently in a situation where a long-term care center is trying to make a loved one leave the facility, please contact our Ohio elder law office at 877-653-3450 to schedule an initial consultation.