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⭒ CANHR Advocate Did You Know Articles

Bad Placement Decisions Can Be a Crime

An increasing number of nursing homes, hospitals, and family members are turning to placement agencies to find housing for older adults who need care. Placement agencies can be government or private agencies. They act as brokers, connecting housing and care providers with persons who need housing and care. But they are rarely contacted by persons who need housing and care – they are usually contacted by a third party who needs to get a person moved. Increasingly, that third party is a nursing home or hospital. The quality and ethical concerns of placement agencies vary a great deal. Many agencies are only interested in getting residents into houses or facilities so they can collect their commission with little regard for whether the house or facility is suitable and provides adequate care to meet the needs of its new resident.

To counter the financial pressure to make bad placements, California criminalizes placing individuals in Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs) that are not equipped to meet the needs of the individual or placing individuals in facilities providing care or supervision that are unlicensed and not exempt from licensing. (Health and Safety Code Section 1569.47) Moving residents to such unsafe places is a misdemeanor. The law applies to all placement agencies, notably including hospital discharge planners, who increasingly send patients to inappropriate facilities to save money. If you have a case where an inappropriate placement is made through a placement agency or hospital discharge planner, you can report this as a crime to your local district attorney’s office.Page Last Modified: April 3, 2019