A bed-hold policy applies when a Medicaid-recipient must leave their nursing home to go to the hospital or other treatment facility for therapies not offered at the subject nursing home, and the patient is expected to return to the same skilled nursing facility, once the hospitalization has ended.

Bed hold refers to the nursing facility’s policy of maintaining the room and/or bed until such hospitalization or outside therapy has ended. Nursing homes charge for a bed hold because, obviously, the nursing facility is unable to move a new patient into the bed being held.

What are the bed hold limitations in Florida?

Florida limits the amount of days Medicaid will pay for a bed hold to 15 days. This is governed by F.S. 400.022(5)(u).

After fifteen (15) days, the patient (or friend/family member) can private pay for the bed hold expense. This can be a difficult but important option in a preferred skilled-nursing facility to prevent the patient from having to move to a new nursing home. Also, the bed may not be held if it is medically determined by DCF that the patient will not be able to return to the nursing home.

For private pay residents, beds will be reserved for a period up to 30 days for any single hospitalization provided the nursing facility continues to be paid.

Summary of Residents Rights in Nursing Homes

Florida Statutes 400.22 governs residential rights in nursing homes and related health-care facilities. It includes rights to civil and religious liberties and the right to assistance from the staff of the facility to exercise these personal decisions in the fullest possible way.

400.022(b) provides the right to private and uncensored communication, including sending and receiving unopened correspondence, access to a telephone and visiting with any person of the nursing-home resident’s choice during visiting hours (and overnight visitation outside the facility with family and friends in accordance with facility policy and doctor’s orders.

Visiting hours must be flexible in accordance with patient’s needs and limitations and those of the visitors (i.e. family that works during the day should be allowed to visit at night).

Patients have the right to manage their own personal financial affairs. A quarterly accounting of transactions made on behalf of the resident must be furnished to the resident or person responsible for the resident. The nursing home cannot require a resident to deposit personal funds with the facility, but if resident does so, nursing home must safeguard the funds and maintain a separate accounting on resident’s behalf.

Florida Statutes 400.022(5)(p): right to be transferred or discharged only for medical reasons or for the welfare of other residents (facility must provide no less than 30-days notice of any involuntary transfer or discharge).

  • For nonpayment of a bill resident must be given 30-days notice. 
  • The nursing home cannot transfer or discharge a resident solely because the source of payment changes from private pay to Medicaid.

Elder Law Attorney Resources

Florida Statutes 400.22: Residential Rights In Nursing Homes and Related Health Care Facilities

Violating residents rights subjects the nursing home to action by DCF as provided by Fla. Stat. 400.102 and 400.121.