A CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) is a facility that allows residents to move from independent living to assisted living to skilled care as their mental and physical states change. They are usually a facility where a person can buy in to the community, pay a monthly sum and receive a portion of the buy-in price when they move out, die or when the resident’s quarters have been resold. There are some CCRCs that are on a straight rental basis.
One issue that has received much attention lately is the ability of the CCRC to dictate when a person must transfer to a higher standard of care within the facility. The CCRC contract usually states that if a resident can no longer be cared for at a certain level then the facility can move that resident to a higher level of care. The disagreements and then the subsequent lawsuits appear when the management of the facility gives notice to a resident that she can no longer remain at a certain level of care, but the resident- and even the resident’s physician- argue that the current level of care is adequate for her condition. The issue becomes whether the facility can force the resident to a higher and probably more expensive care level notwithstanding the protests to the contrary.
Courts, however, have been reticent to disturb the CCRC Agreement in these cases. Favoring the language and the sanctity of the Agreement, they have almost always sided with the facility. Their logic is that the contract left the final decision with the facility, so the facility has the final word on whether the resident moves to a more intensive care level.
Finally, it should be noted that if the resident still refuses to move to that higher care part of the CCRC, the facility must file an involuntary discharge proceeding with the Department of Public Health. The resident then has the choice of moving to another facility or go to a administrative hearing on the matter.
William S. Wilson concentrates on nursing home issues and can be reached at 708-482-7090 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.