By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq; an Appealing Discharge from Nursing Home Lawyer

Some nursing homes take the position that they don’t have to readmit a resident when discharged from the hospital because their bed-hold period has expired.”

But that’s not correct under New Jersey Medicaid laws.

A Medicaid-eligible resident has the right to be readmitted to the next available Medicaid-certified bed, regardless of the length of the hospital stay.

When a resident is hospitalized, the nursing home is required by New Jersey state law to hold the bed for a week or two, if the resident wants the bed to be held.  If the resident is paying privately, he or she will be responsible for paying for the bed hold.  If the resident is Medicaid-eligible, the Medicaid program generally pays the bed hold for a period of time.

In addition, the Nursing Home Reform Law establishes a readmission right for Medicaid-eligible residents.  Even if a bed hold period has exceeded, a nursing home has to admit a Medicaid-eligible resident to the next available Medicaid-certified bed, no matter how long the hospitalization has lasted.  A bed is not considered available if the hospitalized resident and the proposed roommate are not of the same gender.

A Medicaid-eligible resident should not hesitate to assert her right to be readmitted to the next available Medicaid-certified bed.  The resident should be persistent if the nursing home claims that it does not have a vacancy.  If the nursing home is led to believe that the resident will keep checking and checking for the next available bed, the nursing home will be more likely to accept the inevitable and readmit the resident.

Need more information? Contact me personally today to discuss your threatened discharge from a nursing home. I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns. You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at