While it is illegal for a nursing home to discriminate against a Medicaid recipient, it still happens. To prevent such discrimination, nursing home residents and their families need to know their rights. The potential for discrimination arises because Medicaid pays nursing homes less than the facilities receive from residents who pay privately with their own funds and less than Medicare pays. Nursing homes are not required to accept any Medicaid patients, but Medicaid payments are a steady guaranteed payment, so many nursing homes agree to accept Medicaid recipients. When a nursing home agrees to take Medicaid payments, it also agrees not to discriminate against residents based on how they are paying. Medicaid recipients are entitled to the same quality of care as other residents. A nursing home that accepts Medicaid cannot evict residents solely because they qualified for Medicaid (although it can refuse to accept more Medicaid patients once the number of Medicaid patients reaches whatever the facility has set as its maximum). Unfortunately, discrimination against Medicaid patients does occur, and the discrimination can take different forms. The nursing home may refuse to accept a Medicaid recipient or may require that a resident pay privately for a certain period of time before applying for Medicaid. When a resident switches from Medicare or private-pay to Medicaid payments, the nursing home may transfer the resident to a less desirable room or claim that it doesn't have any Medicaid beds. There is at least one way that nursing homes can treat Medicaid recipients differently, however. Nursing homes...