Required Contributions by Relatives of Medicaid Nursing Home Patients

HRD-77-90: Published: May 26, 1977. Publicly Released: May 26, 1977.

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A sample of nursing homes in Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Utah was reviewed to determine whether nursing homes were requiring contributions from the families of Medicaid patients as a condition of the patients' admittance or continued residence.

There were no clear cases of forced contributions, although some families had felt "pressured" into contributing. At present, Federal laws or regulations do not specify what nursing homes may or may not do in soliciting contributions. The four states allowed contributions, but only Florida forbade solicitation through coercion or as a condition for admission or continued residence. The lack of Federal guidance may have allowed subtle pressures to be brought on the patients' families by taking advantage of guilt feelings they might have over placing relatives in nursing facilities rather than keeping them at home, and by creating a fear that the home drop out of the Medicaid program, resulting in the removal of these patients.

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