What if you had to go to the hospital, and when it came time to return home, your landlord said you couldn’t move back in? Across the country, thousands of nursing home residents face that situation every year. In most cases, it’s a violation of federal regulations. But those rules are rarely enforced by the states. So, in California, some nursing home residents are suing the state, hoping to force it to take action.
One of the plaintiffs is Bruce Anderson. Currently, he lives in a hospital room at Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento. He’s been there since May 28, 2015. That’s when his former nursing home sent him to be treated for pneumonia. When he was cured, the nursing home refused to readmit him. The hospital hasn’t yet found him another nursing home to go to. So the hospital room has been his home for 260 days. The cost to Medicaid to keep him there is about 2.5 times what his nursing home cost.
Bruce Anderson has a severe brain injury. It happened 11 years ago, when he had a heart attack and went without oxygen for several minutes. He was just 55 years old, and has lived in nursing homes ever since.