Medicaid in Pennsylvania: Appeals Court Determines Undue Hardship Exception Essentially Meaningless

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has determined that Medicaid was appropriately denied based on transfers to the applicant’s son and Power of Attorney made to himself. (Brenckman v. Dept. Human Services, 443 C.D. 2018 (October 1, 2019)). Introduction This is not an unusual finding, as gifts and transfers for less than market value made within…

CMS Medicare Patient-Driven Payment Model: What Will It Mean for Beneficiaries?

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have implemented new rules for Medicare reimbursement of skilled care in a nursing home. Introduction These rules, referred to as Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) threaten care that Medicare recipients receive in a number of ways. According to CMS, the new payment model is meant to: More…

Five Things I Learned from My Father’s Illness

1. Emotional investment is different from a professional one. I have been a Geriatric Social Worker for many years. A large part of my work with clients is helping them to plan for serious illness and supporting and advocating for them in hospitals and nursing homes. So, I certainly felt I was well-prepared to take…

How the Public Charge Immigration Change Affects Seniors and Disabled Individuals

In August, the Department of Homeland Security issued the final version of its revised “Public Charge” regulation. This rule is scheduled to go into effect in October although legal challenges are expected. If it is implemented, it could have devastating effects on individuals with disabilities and seniors who are immigrants, as well as those who…

Crippling Cost of Medical Care – Know Your Options and Rights

The crippling cost of medical care continues to be a major issue for many Americans, disproportionately impacting seniors and individuals with disabilities. It is important to know your options and rights. Nonprofit Hospitals The Affordable Care Act did address the issue of medical debt, and provides some relief for patients seen at nonprofit hospitals. Under…

CFPB Issues Warning on Elder Financial Abuse Reporting

Recently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was the latest government agency to issue an advisory to financial institutions regarding the financial exploitation of older Americans. The update urges financial institutions to make a report whenever they suspect that an older adult is the target or victim of financial exploitation. This warning builds on prior reports…

New Bill Promises to Streamline New Jersey Medicaid Application Process

The New Jersey legislature has unanimously passed a bill that promises to dramatically improve the implementation of Medicaid throughout the state. The bill has strong support by all stakeholders. Although it is expected that Gov. Murphy will sign the bill, advocates are urging the public to call and encourage him to do so. Based on…

The Problem of Observational Status in a Hospital

We recently got a frantic call from the daughter of one of our clients. Her mom, who was 89 but lived independently, had started to hallucinate and was brought to the Emergency Room of the local hospital. She was seen by the hospital physician and sent to a room. Testing was done that revealed a…

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