Title 22 (§ 87507) only mandates refunds in two (2) situations:
1) The Department orders the relocation of a resident. In this case, the resident is relieved of any advance notice requirements contained in the admissions agreement.
2) Upon the death of a resident, the agreement between the facility and the resident is terminated and relatives are not liable for any payment beyond that due at the date of death, unless agreed to in writing or ordered by a court.
Title 22 includes no other provisions for refunds or advanced notice requirements for residents or families. Refund policies (outside of the above) are at the discretion of the facility and will be stated in the admissions agreement. Therefore, it is imperative you familiarize yourself with a facility's policy regarding events that may prompt a resident's departure from the facility:
- Personal decision to move
- Sickness/Injury/Higher level of care
- Depleted Resources
If the terms set forth in the admissions agreement are not agreeable to you, search for a facility that has more reasonable policies or see if there is room for negotiation (and get all agreements in writing, no verbal assurances). For example, is the required notification for moving 30 days or 60 days? Is there the option for a reduced payment or per diem rate should the resident need to relocate temporarily? How soon must you remove the resident's personal effects after death to avoid being charged?
While consumers always have the right to ask for a refund and to file a complaint against a facility they believe is taking advantage, the policy that is contained in the signed admissions agreement is binding.
Notes in italics represent the views and/or experience of CARR regarding this topic and/or regulation.