Saturday, June 7, 2014

Alternate level of care - your rights and hospital discharge

Finally, a good article from a journalist. This is good information from  Advocacy Centre for the Elderly (ACE), a legal aid clinic for seniors.

Beware of hospital ‘discharge planners’

Lawyer specializing in elder care punctures the myths hospitals use to push out “bed blockers.”


  • A hospital cannot charge a patient who is waiting for a nursing home vacancy its “uninsured rate” of $1,500 to $1,700 a day, as some threaten to do. There is only one circumstance under which a hospital can recoup the full cost of a bed; it occurs when a patient applies to a long-term care facility, gets a placement and turns it down.

  • A hospital cannot tell a patient which — or how many — of Ontario’s 630 nursing homes to apply to. They frequently try to push people into picking a facility with a short waiting list and reject high-demand selections. They have no authority to do this; every Ontarian is legally entitled to choose as many as five facilities (or as few as one) anywhere in the province. Individuals can set their own priorities: religion, language, reputation, proximity to family and friends.
  • A hospital cannot force a family to care for a patient at home. Nor does it have the authority to promise round-the-clock home care. Only the region’s Community Care Access Centre can do that and very few offer 24/7 home care.
  • A hospital cannot coerce a patient to move to a retirement home . These private facilities typically cost $5,000 to $6,000 a month. They provide a lower level of care than government-funded nursing homes.
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