Abandoned Nursing Home Residents Live Months In Hospital, Waiting
by Anna Gorman, KQED
A bad bout of pneumonia sent Bruce Anderson to Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento last May. As soon as he recovered, hospital staff tried to return him to the nursing home where he had been living for four years.
After patient recovered from pneumonia, his nursing home refused to take him back.
But the home refused to readmit him, even after being ordered to do so by the state. Nearly nine months later, Anderson, 66, is still in the hospital.
“I’m frustrated,” said his daughter, Sara Anderson. “You cannot just dump someone in the hospital.”
Anderson said her father, who has a brain injury that causes dementia-like symptoms, is confined to the hospital bed and frequently given anti-psychotic medications. She believes the nursing home, Norwood Pines Alzheimer’s Care Center, refused to readmit him because it wanted to make room for more lucrative and less burdensome residents.
“I didn’t have any question this was about money,” she said.
Nursing home residents are entitled to hearings under federal law to determine whether they should be readmitted after hospitalization. The state Department of Health Care Services holds the administrative hearings, but has said it is not responsible for enforcing the rulings.
But the state Department of Public Health, which oversees nursing homes, neglects to enforce the rulings and sometimes disagrees with them, according to advocates and court documents.