Healthcare

How To Pay For Long Term and Nursing Home Care

Paying For Long Term Care Through Medicaid and VA Pensions There are two primary public benefits programs that can help pay for nursing home or long-term care:  VA Pension and Medicaid (there is another VA program for veterans with a service-connected disability).  Both programs have strict requirements for qualification and they are, to put it mildly, complicated. What is a VA Pension and How Is A Veteran Eligible? VA Pension is a federal...

10 Early Warning Signs of Dementia

Ready or Not, Here it May Come  Your Cheat Sheet for Dementia “Dementia” is a global medical term used to describe different conditions and diseases that share common symptoms such as impaired memory, performance of daily activities and the ability to communicate.    Some common types of these conditions or diseases are Alzheimer Disease, Vascular disorders, Down Syndrome, traumatic brain injuries, Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.   About 20% of the causes of...

Documents You Absolutely Positively Must Have in Place

Do not take a vacation, leave for college, go through surgery or get on a small plane without having these documents in place and current.  A will.  This document can be simple or complex, but it should not be based on a form that you download from the internet.  Because a will is so important, you should be extremely careful on how it is drafted and executed. Helpful hint: you...

Beers and Nursing Homes: Two Lists that are Too Important to Miss

The topics today are drugs and sorry nursing homes. We will start with drugs first. For those 65 and older, there is a relatively secret list of medications that they should avoid or consider with caution.  It is called the American Geriatrics Society Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults, commonly known as the Beers List.  Created in 1991 and updated every 3 years, the Beers List is...

Jimmo Revisited: Improvement vs. Need Medicare Standard

You need to know about Jimmo because many Medicare providers, suppliers, and adjusters are clueless. So says a 2018 report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Jimmo is the name for a 2013 settlement arising from a federal lawsuit over Medicare coverage for skilled nursing care and skilled therapy services.  The Jimmo agreement restated the standard for providing continued services.  Providers and suppliers who do not know about Jimmo...

Happy HIPAA! Getting the Most from Your Family Gathering

Perhaps there was a master plan that caused the traditional family gatherings of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas to fall so close together. If you are into conspiracy theories, you might even question the motive behind throwing family members into close contact for days on end. The incidental benefit is that after all of the forced family togetherness, you now have a good idea who you want to name on your...

Medicare Cost-Sharing Numbers for 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have released the Medicare premium, deductible and co-pay amounts for 2019. Below are the 2019 cost-sharing amounts. Part A Premium (For those not automatically enrolled) 0-29 qualifying quarters of employment: $437.00 30-39 quarters: $240.00 Inpatient Hospital Deductible, Per Spell of Illness: $1,364.00 Co-pay, Days 1 – 60: $0 Co-pay, Days 61 – 90: $341.00/day Co-pay, Lifetime Reserve Days: $682.00/day Skilled Nursing Facility Co-pay, Days 1 – 20: $0 Co-pay, Days 21 – 100:...

Dementia – Planning Ahead

According to the National Institute on Aging,  dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning (thinking, remembering, and reasoning) and behavioral abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. Dementia is more common as people grow older. Up to half of all people age 85 or older may have some form of dementia. As Elder Lawyers, we deal with dementia from a legal perspective. Estate planning...

Code Blue, Not: The New In-hospital DNR Order

Let’s chat about a relatively new law that hospitals, doctors, and patients are struggling with:  an in-hospital DNR order. Simply stated, it means no Code Blue on a dying patient. Being a bit more precise, an in-hospital DNR order is a doctor’s order instructing a health care professional not to undertake cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a hospital or healthcare facility patient.  That essentially means that a doctor can order, in advance, that...

Why Five Wishes Won’t Work

There is a very nice pamphlet  named Five Wishes that is distributed by a number of organizations to help individuals broach the subject of  advanced care planning.    The private, non-profit organization that created it boasts that it is often called the “living will with heart and soul, ”and that a total of 42 states now allow residents to put their end-of-life wishes in their own words instead of a...

Medicaid Top 3 Mistakes

Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that is best known for funding nursing home care for “impoverished” seniors. Let’s focus for a moment on the “impoverished” part. To be eligible for Medicaid, a senior can have only limited assets - but some assets are excluded from the calculation.  The government will look back at 5 years’ worth of transactions in determining if the senior is truly qualified.  If the government...

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

This is an excerpt from a recent National Association of Elder Law Attorneys summary: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a historic national health care reform law was enacted on March 23, 2010 with the goal of expanding and improving the health care of all Americans. The following is an overview of major provisions affecting older adults and people with special needs, which will gradually take effect between now...
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