Jun 22, 2020 - Health

Nursing homes ramping up patient evictions during coronavirus pandemic

Illustration of rocking chairs.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, nursing homes have been ramping up their practice of evicting the poorest residents — often without helping them find a safe place to go, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: "Patient dumping" has long been an issue in nursing homes, and the pandemic has turned up the volume. The facilities can now get a $600 per day bonus for taking in coronavirus patients, which strengthens the financial incentive to boot less-profitable residents.

  • And since the coronavirus has frozen visitation, it's also easier to get away with right now.

Details: Nursing homes are often evicting residents who are on Medicaid into homeless shelters or other potentially unsafe conditions, in many cases without giving the advance notice required by law, per the Times.

  • Some of those evicted patients then don't have anyone to help them recover from surgery, manage their medications or otherwise take on the tasks that a nursing home is supposed to perform.
  • The Times documents one dementia patient who was evicted into an unlicensed boarding house, only to wander away and end up on the streets.

The other side: Nursing homes denied evicting residents in order to secure higher reimbursements, including from coronavirus patients.

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