Can my aunt be forced out of a hospital if the doctors think she's better? What is the best next step in care?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 13, 2016
Levy asked...

My aunt is 93 years old and had surgery for aneurism one week ago today. We have been told she has to leave the hospital today. She feels that she is not ready to leave.

Expert Answers

As Founder and Director of Circles of Care, Ann Cason provides caregiving, consulting, and training services to individuals and public and private organizations involved in eldercare. She is the author of Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders.

I don't think it is so much of whether your aunt can be forced out of the hospital as it is of whether insurance will pay. You must check with medicare to find out whether they will pay for an extended stay and what channels of appeal that you could follow.

Another question to ask: Can your aunt be discharged to a skilled nursing facility for the rest of her recuperation? How long will her insurance pay for skilled nursing?

And finally, what kind of care can your 93 year old aunt count on at home? You could speak with the discharge planning social worker at the hospital to see what is available. Can she walk? Can she cook? Can she bathe and dress herself? Hospitals do not want patients to be re-admitted. Many are now working with family with advice, referral resources, and other services to help their patients make a supported recovery. You can help most by being her advocate: Find what she needs then help her meet these basic requirements for care.