Aging Options

Nursing home admissions form does not violate federal law

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Katie White was admitted to Charles Morris Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Pennsylvania on March 11, 2009. As part of her admittance, her son, Solomon White acting as her POA signed the admission agreement as a responsible party. This obligated him to apply his mother’s income and assets to her care and held him personally responsible for any misapplication or misappropriations of his mother’s resources.

When the nursing home sought payment from Solomon White, he sued claiming the nursing home violated the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act (FNHRA), the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, the Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act and breach of contract, all in relation to the nursing home’s admission forms and billing.

The nursing home moved to dismiss the suit claiming Solomon White did not have standing. The district court agreed but also found that his challenge would fail because the admissions form specifically stated it did not make him liable as a guarantor for the cost of his mother’s care but only for misapplication and misappropriation of her resources.

Nursing home admissions agreements are by their very nature complicated. They are also typically put into place after a traumatic situation and with very little time to research options. What’s more, unlike much of our planning for life it isn’t as possible to do the preliminary steps months or years before the time comes. You can do your Medicaid planning, have your family conversations and the chances are you’ll still feel overwhelmed and frustrated. That’s why it’s important to have someone on your side that has the expertise to help guide you through the process. That’s why you need a geriatric care manager. Geriatric care managers can help put things in place to help avoid a nursing home admission in the first place but if a nursing home becomes necessary, a geriatric care manager can make that transition smoother by advocating for you or your loved one. Contact a geriatric care manager today by calling 1-877-76-AGING.

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