Is it Considered Malpractice if a Hospital Knowingly Sends an Elder to a 1 star Nursing Home

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it Considered Malpractice if a Hospital Knowingly Sends an Elder to a 1 star Nursing Home

I really hope someone can answer this, because I am at my wit’s end. My elderly disabled mother has been in the hospital for a couple of months. She asked the doctors for rehabilitation treatment once her hospital stay neared its end. The hospital has secured her rehabilitation treatment but unpon research that I conducted myself I ascertained that the rehab center she will be going to is a 1 star nursing home. This nursing home has had several complaints leveraged against it, and it has been fined twice in the past 3 years with fines that total over $100,000. I have informed the hospital of this matter, they claimed they were going to attempt to send my mother elsewhere, however they decided to send her to this establishment even after I informed then that the facility is below par. If the hospital knowingly sends my mother to an establishment that they know has had complaints leveraged against it in the past is there any legal action that I can take against the hospital to hold them accountable for their decision.I understand that there is a good chance that I can’t do anything until something God forbid happens to her but I wonder if it does can I take action against the hospital and/or the nursing home.

Asked on September 26, 2018 under Malpractice Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not malpractice. At the end of the day, your mother (if she is mentally competent) could have refused to go to that home and located another one; or if she is not mentally competent, her legal guardian or someone with a POA for her (possibly you) could have refused and sent her elsewhere. The hospital does not have final say over which home she goes to, so it is not their responsibility: rather, she (if compentent) or her guardian/attorney-in-fact on a POA has responsibility for where she goes. If you or she did not like this home, she could have gone elsewhere; if you now decide you don't like it, she can transfer. The hospital simply could not have sent her there is you or she objected and said unequivocally "no."
Second and even more important, you do not describe any harm that *you mother* has suffered from this home. A malpractice case is designed to provide compensation for actual injuries or harm or economic losses suffered--not for "potential" or "possible" harm. If nothing bad has happened to your mother, there is nothing to sue for and no legal case to bring.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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