Hospital transfers elderly man to assisted living without family approval

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The family of a 92-year-old dementia patient is upset that staff at an Omaha hospital made an important decision without their knowledge or consent.

Mark Broin wanted his father, Dean transferred to an assisted living facility, but not when he was out of town and with only a voicemail notice.

"Just want to let you know we're transferring your father at three o'clock. No discussion. no part of the process," Broin said.

A call from the assisted living facility alerted Mark's wife, Norma Broin, who demanded Bergan Mercy stop the transfer.

"I told the nurse, social worker and the doctor, so I told three different lines don't do it, don't do it and they did it," she said.

The couple has power of attorney for Dean and they had him brought back to Bergan Mercy's emergency room.

CHI Health sent a statement offering an apology to the 92-year-old and his family. They also sent an explanation to 6 On Your Side.

The statement said, “Due to a misunderstanding, CHI Health transferred a patient to a skilled nursing facility, not a hospital, to continue his care. We have reviewed our communication protocol and made changes to make sure we have a clearer communication plan and this doesn’t happen again. We apologize to the patient and the family.”

"It's your family member being transferred against your wishes to a place you may not approve of. Think you have an interest in the health care of our family members and have to be a part of that process," Mark Broin said.

Though saying Dean received good care while at the hospital, the Broins hope CHI Health will be careful to include family in decisions that patients can't make for themselves.

After six more days back at Bergan Mercy, Dean was transferred to assisted living. This time, the family screened and approved the facility before the move.