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COVID-19 FAQ- NYS NURSING HOMES

Health Team April 08, 2020

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

FAQS ON NEW YORK STATE 

NURSING HOMES / SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES

 

Last Updated: May 27, 2020

 

Q. A facility has threatened to take or has already signed over my stimulus payment, what can I do?

If you or a loved one in a nursing home has witnessed or experienced this practice, please reach out for legal assistance immediately. The CARES Act Economic Impact Payments (stimulus payments) are considered tax credits and this money belongs to the resident. Tax credits do not count as “resources” for purposes of federal benefits programs like Medicaid (for 12 months, then it becomes a resource if it is not spent). This means that nursing facilities cannot take money from residents simply because the resident is on Medicaid. Click here for recent guidance from the Federal Trade Commission on this issue. You can also report this issue to the NYS Attorney General Fraud unithttps://ag.ny.gov/nursinghomes (online form), or call OAG Help Line at (800) 771-7755.

 

Q. A facility is threatening me or my loved one with involuntary transfer and/or discharge, what can I do?

There are concerning stories circulating about facilities attempting to discharge or transfer residents to unsafe or remote locations during the crisis. Despite concerns about COVID-19, a facility may still be the safest, or perhaps the only, option for you or your loved one’s ongoing care. All nursing home residents have rights, whether you are covered by Medicaid or Medicare, another form of insurance, or a private pay resident. Most importantly, you have the right to be given 30 days written notice before a discharge, you have the right to file an appeal to NYS DOH, and to remain in the facility pending the appeal determination, which may include a discharge hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Under a current and temporary rule, this notice right does not apply to a resident who is facing an impending transfer to another facility.

During the crisis, we understand that direct access to most facilities is severely restricted. If you or a loved one becomes aware of an impending involuntary transfer and/or discharge, and you wish to start the appeal process, please contact your local state long term care  ombudsman immediately for assistance and for a possible referral to legal services in your area.

 

Q. Can a Nursing Home (NH) refuse to admit or readmit a resident during the crisis?

Maybe. According to a recent Executive Order issued by the Governor, a hospital shall not discharge a patient to a NH unless the NH has first certified that it is able to properly care for the patient. Further, the hospital must perform a diagnostic test for COVID-19 and obtain a negative result before discharging the patient to a NH. Click this link to read the full Executive Order.

 

This information is up to date as May 27, 2020. If you have any further questions, or need assistance on a health insurance matter, please contact our health team by email, health@empirejustice.org.

Please note: Do not send us any nonpublic information about any legal matter for which you seek legal representation until we request that you do so. Empire Justice attorneys will inform you if and when your matter is considered for legal representation. Until that time, any information you provide WILL NOT be considered confidential, and NO attorney-client relationship is formed by communications received through this website. Any information available on the website is for general legal education purposes only, and is not legal advice.