The council is conducting a feasibility study to find out whether elderly patients and their relatives would accept the radical move, and whether it is legal.
A council spokesman said: 'We're well aware there are a lot of issues we'll need to resolve before this can happen, but it is something we are considering.'
The council has seen the number of available care home beds fall by a quarter over the last two years. It has been swamped by old people from London boroughs who are prepared to pay higher prices for places in Kent. Up to£600 per week is being offered by London boroughs for places, while Kent can only afford to pay a maximum of£380 per week.
Mr Gilroy said homes were struggling to cope with the costs of increased regulation under the Care Standards Act.