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Letters to the Editor

December 11, 2009

Nursing home residents due notice of discharge

On behalf of the more than 400 volunteer long-term care ombudsmen statewide, I am writing to share a concern about a growing trend in nursing homes: the improper transfer or discharge of residents.

When a nursing home initiates the transfer or discharge of a resident who has lived there at least 30 days, facility staff must provide the resident with a written 30-day notice, unless certain conditions exist.

A copy of all discharge notices must be sent to the local long-term care ombudsman office. This gives ombudsmen the opportunity to challenge an improper transfer or discharge.

All residents have the right to file a request for a fair hearing to appeal a discharge. An ombudsman volunteer can assist in the hearing process . Obtain toll-free at information at (888) 831-0404 or online at http://ombudsman.myflorida.com.

BRIAN LEE

Tallahassee

Editor's note: Brian Lee is the Florida State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.