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To Be Old, Frail and Evicted: Patients at Risk

Since Jasmine Nguyen collapsed nine years ago, apparently from a seizure, the 32-year-old has lived in a nursing home in Lodi, Calif., dependent on a ventilator to breathe and the facility's staff for her daily needs.

But since early this year, the nursing home has been seeking to evict Ms. Nguyen and a dozen other residents in similar situations, potentially replacing them with shorter-term residents likely to bring more revenue.

Across the country, nursing homes are forcing out frail and ill residents. While federal law permits nursing-home evictions in some circumstances, state officials and patient advocates say facilities often go too far, seeking to evict those who are merely inconvenient or too costly. Residents with dementia or demanding families are among the most vulnerable, particularly if -- like Ms. Nguyen and the other Lodi residents -- they depend on Medicaid to pay their bills, the officials and advocates say.

August 7, 2008

Read more at online.wsj.com >>

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