Medicaid-eligible nursing home residents have a right to sue states that fail to provide them with a fair process for appealing patient “dumping” by the facilities, the Ninth Circuit said July 18.

The Federal Nursing Home Reform Amendments to the Medicaid Act contain “rights-creating” language phrased in terms of the people it benefits, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said. In this instance, that means the residents allegedly unlawfully transferred or discharged from nursing homes.

The right to appeal a discharge or transfer, moreover, is neither vague nor amorphous, and unambiguously imposes a binding obligation on the...