New Jersey’s Governor signed a new law on evictions during the COVID-19 emergency. For many of our clients whose family members live in long term care facilities like an assisted living and nursing home, this new law is extremely important because the definition of “residential property” does not include “any residential health care facility”. The law also does not define the term “residential health care facility”; it only lists it as an exclusion.
As a result, some facilities are already trying to claim that the exclusion of a ” residential health care facility” from the term means that they can begin evicting assisted living residents. We Disagree!
The term “health care facility” is listed in Title 26:2H-2 of the New Jersey statutes. That definition references “residential health care facility”, but does not define the term.
But the term is defined in N.J.S.A. 30:11A-1, which reads:
“Residential health care facility” means any facility, whether in single or multiple dwellings, whether public or private, whether incorporated or unincorporated, whether for profit or non-profit, which:
(1) is operated at the direction, or under the management, of an individual or individuals, a corporation, a partnership, a society, or an association;
(2) furnishes food and shelter to four or more persons 18 years of age or older who are unrelated to the proprietor;
(3) provides any one or more of such persons with dietary services, recreational activities, supervision of self-administration of medications, supervision of and assistance in activities of daily living, and assistance in obtaining health services; and
(4) is regulated by either the Department of Health or the Department of Community Affairs.
“Residential health care facility” shall not include any community residence for the developmentally disabled, as defined in section 2 of P.L.1977, c. 448 (C.30:11B-2); any facility or living arrangement that is operated by, or under contract with, any other State department or agency, upon the written authorization of the Commissioner of Health or the Commissioner of Community Affairs, as appropriate; or any privately operated establishment licensed under chapter 11 of Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.
In the statement of purpose, the legislature explained the residents of Residential Health Care Facilities do not generally require skilled nursing care, and these facilities are overseen by the Department of Community Affairs, not the Department of Health and Senior Services.
Conversely, “assisted living” is defined in N.J.S.A. 26:2H-7.15:
“Assisted living” means a coordinated array of supportive personal and health services, available 24 hours per day, which promote resident self-direction and participation in decisions that emphasize independence, individuality, privacy, dignity, and homelike surroundings to residents who have been assessed to need these services, including residents who require formal long-term care.”
Importantly, “comprehensive personal care homes” are assisted livings, regulated under N.J.A.C. 8:36-1.1 et seq., by the Department of Health and Senior Services whereas Residential Health Care facilities are not.
To discuss your NJ Medicaid or discharge, threatened discharge or patient resident rights matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at email@example.com. Please ask us about our video conferencing or telephone consultations if you are unable to come to our office.
By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, NJ Discharge from Nursing Home Attorney