Montana Nursing Homes and Families Receive Assistance to Resolve Disputes

Montana Nursing Homes and Families Receive Assistance to Resolve Disputes about Discharge Notices Through a Grant from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Services 

Montana Mediation Association (MtMA) received a Civil Monetary Penalty Reinvestment Grant to prevent and delay resident discharges from Montana Nursing Homes.  Starting August 1, 2019 family’s, residents and facilities may use elder mediators to resolve problems leading to discharge notices.

Historically, nursing homes have issued 30-day discharge notices to residents who are struggling to live in the nursing home. Some of the reasons people are given discharge notices are: Failure to pay the bill, failure to comply with the facility rules, not needing the level of care provided in a nursing home, not following physician orders, not getting along with staff and/or other residents. Appeals processes are available through the Office of Fair Hearing; however, the appeal process generally exceed the 30 days given by the discharge notice.

Obtaining legal assistance, filing the appeal and negotiating a solution between the nursing home and the resident/family can take time and money. Residents and family don’t always have the time and money to hire and attorney or feel unprepared to engage in a legal dispute. Not all residents and family members in Montana desire litigation.  Residents don’t always have the time (life span) to pursue a dispute.

Facility staff, family members and resident’s bond and desire to remain in place.  Facility staff feel like they have done everything possible to resolve the problem before issuing the 30-day notice. They may feel like they have of out of ideas.

Elder Mediation is an option outside of regulatory agencies and litigation.  Scheduling mediation does not prohibit complaint investigations, it does not prohibit litigation, it does not prohibit discharge notices. What mediation does do is allow the resident/family and facility to talk to each other, problem solve together and come up with a solution that is acceptable for everyone involved. Mediation can be scheduled quickly, confidentially, and informally as the party’s desire.

Through the CMS Reinvestment grant, $5,000.00 are available to provide elder mediation services to prevent and/or delay discharges from nursing homes in Montana. Specific criteria is required to be met for utilization of the grant money.

Contact the Montana Mediation Association at 406-579-2371 to learn more.

                        author

Kayre Chatellier

Kayre Chatellier MSCJ, CM/F/EC is a Restorative Justice Champion who is focused upon restorative processes, which create greater pathways and opportunities toward strengthening communities through advocacy, reconciliation, connection, communication, and collaboration. Kayre received her Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. She is now a… MORE >

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