If you are admitted to a nursing home after a hospital stay, and the facility tells you to leave once your Medicare days run out – you have a right to stay.
It is a common practice among California nursing homes to accept residents for short-term rehabilitation (covered by Medicare) and then tell those residents that there are no “long-term care beds” or “custodial beds” once the Medicare days run out. These phrases are euphemisms for Medi-Cal, and this practice stems from the discrepancy between reimbursement rates for Medicare and Medi-Cal. The fact is, every nursing home in California must provide long term care, and if a nursing home is certified for Medi-Cal, all of their beds are Medi-Cal beds. Rampant Medi-Cal discrimination needs to stop.
If a nursing home proposes a discharge after your Medicare runs out and you still need care: 1) just don’t go and 2) tell the nursing home you do not agree with the discharge, and that they must serve a 30-day advance written notice and meet all other legal and procedural requirements to go forward. Check to see if they are Medi-Cal certified, and if so, you may apply to Medi-Cal to cover your stay.
So – just don’t go. Make it clear to the nursing home that you know what your rights are. State and federal laws are very protective against illegal discharges for nursing home residents, and the burden is on the facility to show they’ve met the requirements for a discharge.