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Can a Connecticut nursing home kick out a troublesome patient?

We've previously discussed various forms of abuse and neglect that can take place in nursing homes in Connecticut. Whether it is the failure of staff to properly care for a bed-ridden patient, or the use of drugs to maintain the person in a 'compliant' state, there are numerous ways in which it is possible for nursing homes to injure their residents. We have also discussed the fact that residents and their loved ones should be firm and create a plan that the nursing home and the patient are aware of that addresses the primary needs and concerns of the patient.

However, sometimes a nursing facility will want to do things its own way. In these cases, the staff and administration of the home may find that residents and their families who demand certain needs be met are 'troublesome' or 'non-compliant.' So, can a home toss such patients out because they don't want to deal with them?

Connecticut Statute Section 19a-535 deals with this question. In it, the state legislature stipulates that nursing facilities may only discharge or transfer patients for certain reasons. For example, a facility can discharge a patient is his or her health has improved to such an extent that the facility's care is no longer required. Also, a nursing home may discharge a patient who has become a threat to the safety of others in the home, or in a patient not on government assistance has become delinquent in paying his or her bills by at least 15 days.

One will notice that asserting one's rights is not included in this list. Some facilities may attempt to claim that troublesome patients are putting other patients or staff at risk, but such a claim should not be accepted without evidence. If a Connecticut resident has a loved one believed to have suffered abuse in a nursing home, he or she may wish to consider consulting an experienced attorney.

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