Can disabled patient has Medicare/Medicaid discharge themself from a nursing home

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can disabled patient has Medicare/Medicaid discharge themself from a nursing home

The patient fell and injured herself at home,
was in the hospital for 38 days. The hospital
sent out applications for a long term rehab
facility and after several denials she was
accepted to a facility that is just a nursing home
and is in terrible condition-can she discharge
herself and return home and seek out a home
care agency without legal ramifications?

Asked on May 2, 2018 under Insurance Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether she us mentally competent. If she is mentally competent, she does have the right to discharge herself--a competent adult cannot be held in a hospital or other care facility against her will.
If she is not mentally competent, then she cannot make this decision for herself: whomever has the right (e.g. a guardian) to make this decision for her must do so.

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