Can a Hospital Discharge Dad If He Can't Care for Himself?

Yes and no. There are some confusing rules here. Medicare can stop covering your father’s care if he no longer needs to be in the hospital – in other words, if his pneumonia is under control. Patients don’t need to be in hospitals for feeding and care. However, there’s a whole different set rules, usually under state law, that govern discharge planning. If there’s no reasonable plan for your father’s safe care, you may be able to appeal the discharge plan to your state’s public health agency.

Harry S. Margolis practices elder law, estate, and special needs planning in Boston and Wellesley, Massachusetts. He is the founder of and answers consumer questions about estate planning issues here and at