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Posts Tagged ‘Nursing Homes’

A recent case in Connecticut shows how the fallout from the new Deficit Reduction Act is hurting not only nursing homes and their residents, but the residents’ families as well.  In the case of Glastonbury Healthcare Center, Inc. v. Esposito, the nursing home successfully sued the adult son of a resident for over $100,000.  This has sent up a loud warning for those families who are tempted not to plan ahead for their long term care needs.  It also sends a warning to facilities that assume patients can handle the Medicaid process without professional help.

 

In the Esposito case the adult son, Carmine Esposito, signed an Admissions Agreement when his elderly mother entered the nursing home.  He signed it under the power of attorney from his mother.  He did not sign it personally as the Responsible Party.  Among other things, this document contained the provision that the Responsible Party agrees to “act promptly and expeditiously to establish and maintain eligibility for Medicaid assistance.”  (more…)

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Many of Michigan’s senior citizens who spent their working years employed by larger corporations have the comfort of knowing that they are covered by good quality health insurance.  This insurance is supposed to last well into their retirement years or even for the rest of their lives.  However, in an unexpected offshoot of the current financial crisis, many large companies are threatening to cancel the health coverage of their retirees in an effort to cut costs.  Also, seniors can be caught off-guard when companies file for bankruptcy and eliminate their retirement benefits entirely.   

This frightening prospect has already happened to retirees in some of America’s largest corporations.  Some municipalities are threatening to follow their example.  Paul Miller, the Executive Director of the national retiree advocacy group, ProtectSeniors.org, says that the situation is as dire as the financial crisis in the auto industry, Wall Street and America’s banks. (more…)

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According to a recent study, when asked about their most important concerns for the future the elderly are most fearful about:

1) Remaining independent in their homes without intervention from others;

2) Maintaining good health and receiving adequate health care;

3) Having enough money for everyday needs and not outliving assets and income.

While the elderly are certainly concerned about long-term care disability and the resulting catastrophic needs, those items are not ranked at the top of the list. What most seniors don’t realize is that in order to achieve the three top goals listed above one generally needs to plan ahead. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be happening.

Currently, long-term care costs are running, on an average, about $6500 per month (The MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home & Assisted Living Costs, October, 2007). At that rate, most persons’ savings will be depleted in less than an average stay in a nursing home (2.5 years). Thus, an extended disability that requires long-term care is probably the most catastrophic event that could happen. It can make it impossible for a senior citizen to achieve the three goals mentioned above, destroying any hope for a secure future. For example, with the need for long-term care the older person: a) Loses independence b) Has experienced a loss of good health c) Uses up remaining assets and income. (more…)

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently implemented a rating system for nursing homes to help seniors and their families evaluate a long term care facility. Under the new rating system, facilities are given from one to five stars to rank their performance in the following areas: quality measures, nurse staffing levels and health inspection reports.

While families seeking long term care may be relieved to have an objective method of comparing facilities, it may not be as objective as it appears.  Toby Edelman, senior policy attorney for the Center for Medicare Advocacy has stated that two of the three criteria that are used in evaluating nursing homes are actually self-reported.  This raises questions about the accuracy of the ratings.  In fact, Edelman said, “Relying on nursing homes to describe accurately how well they are doing . . . just doesn’t make sense.”

Consumers should be careful to compare the rating of the nursing home with their own experience when visiting the facility.  The ratings can be viewed on the agency’s Nursing Home Compare website.

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