The threat of transfer or discharge from a nursing home can be both frightening and stressful for residents and their families. The Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987 protects residents from involuntary transfer and discharge. Please contact the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman or your Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman for more information about protecting resident rights and for assistance with negotiating with the facility.
The long-term care (LTC) facility shall ensure that each resident is permitted to remain in the facility and is not transferred or discharged unless one of the following conditions is met:
- The transfer or discharge is necessary for the resident’s welfare, and the resident’s needs cannot be met in the current facility.
- The safety of other residents is endangered.
- The health of other residents is endangered.
- The resident has failed, after reasonable and appropriate notice to pay the rates and charges imposed by the facility.
- The facility ceases to operate.
Before a resident is transferred or discharged involuntarily, the facility shall perform the following:
- Notify the resident, family, and/or legal representative of the transfer or discharge and the reasons; and
- Record the reason or transfer or discharge in the clinical record.
The facility must provide a written notice of transfer or discharge to the resident or legal representative at least 30 days before the resident is transferred or discharged involuntarily, unless one of the following conditions is met:
- The safety of other residents would be endangered.
- The resident’s urgent medical needs require an immediate transfer to another health care facility.
Each written notice should include the following:
- The reason for transfer or discharge;
- The effective date of the transfer or discharge;
- The address and telephone number of the complaint program of the Kansas Department on Aging where a complaint related to involuntary transfer or discharge can be registered (503 South Kansas Avenue Topeka, KS 66603-3404 (800) 842-0078); and
- The address and telephone number of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
The facility shall provide sufficient preparation and orientation to each resident before transfer or discharge to ensure a safe and orderly transfer and discharge.
The facility shall ensure the development of a discharge plan, with the involvement of the resident, the legal representative and designated family, when practicable.
If the resident is transferred or discharged to another health care facility, the adult care home shall ensure that sufficient information accompanies the resident to ensure continuity of care in the new facility.
Before a resident is transferred to a hospital or goes on leave, the facility should provide written information to the resident, legal representative and if agreed to by the resident’s legal representative, the resident’s family, that specifies the following:
- The period of time during which the resident is permitted to return and resume residence;
- The cost to the resident, if any, to hold the resident’s bedroom, apartment, individual living unit, or adult day care slot until the resident’s return; and
- A provision that when the resident’s hospitalization or therapeutic leave exceeds the period identified in the policy, the resident will be readmitted to the nursing facility upon the first availability of a comparable room, if the resident requires the services provided by the nursing facility.
The resident of a licensed and certified nursing facility has the right to appeal an involuntary discharge. The Office of Administrative Hearings should be contacted at (785) 296-2433, 1020 South Kansas Avenue, Topeka, KS 66603-3804.