The Wall Street Journal on Thursday examined how U.S. nursing homes are “forcing out frail and ill residents” in an effort to “replac[e] them with shorter-term residents likely to bring more revenue.” Federal law allows nursing homes to evict residents for six reasons: they are healthy enough to return home; they require care not offered at the nursing home; they risk the health of other residents or staff; they endanger the safety of other residents or staff; they do not pay their bills; or the nursing home closes. However, some state officials and patient advocates say that nursing homes “often go too far, seeking to evict those who are merely inconvenient or too costly,” such as residents with dementia or demanding families.  Medicaid beneficiaries are at greater risk of eviction because Medicaid reimbursement rates are as little as half of what nursing homes make from residents who pay their bills out-of-pocket, with private coverage or through Medicare, according to the Journal. The Journal reports that Medicaid reimbursement payments to nursing homes in 2007 were $4.4 billion less than the cost of treating beneficiaries. According to Michael Wiederhorn, a health care analyst for Oppenheimer, approximately two-thirds of nursing home residents who stay in facilities more than 90 days depend on Medicaid to pay their bills.

About Jerry

Jerold E. Rothkoff, a practicing New Jersey and Pennsylvania attorney, is the Principal of the Rothkoff Law Group, an elder care law firm. Jerry dedicates his practice to serving clients in the areas of life care planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid & VA benefits, and advocacy for the elderly and disabled. He is past President of the NJ Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, former chair of the elder law section of the NJ State Bar Association, and past President of the Life Care Planning Law Firm Association. Jerry continues to be an outspoken advocate for the rights of the elderly and disabled. He writes for and gives presentations regularly to attorneys and other professionals about legal issues related to seniors and those with disabilities. Jerry’s community activities include the Twilight Wish Foundation, the Delaware Valley Stroke Council, the Alzheimer’s Association, as well as numerous other advocacy groups. When not in the office, Jerry spends time with his wife, Erica, and their five children, eighteen-year old identical twin girls, Liza and Julia, fifteen-year old fraternal twin boys, Evan and Gregory, and six-year old Aitan.

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