Have you, or someone you know, tried to place a loved one in a convalescent home recently? If so, you should know that a disturbing trend has emerged. Title XIX applications are becoming harder and harder to complete and acceptance is being delayed. This causes convalescent homes to become more aggressive in their efforts to recoup compensation for care.
If the family is taking too long to complete the Title XIX application, the convalescent home will take matters into their own hands, bypass the family, and apply to a Probate Court for a conservator. The conservator is someone with whom the convalescent home has a working relationship with and someone the facility can oversee to take control of the application process. In this manner, the convalescent home now indirectly has control over the resident's finances, and the family is left wondering what just happened.
There is no denying that convalescent homes provide a valuable service to their patients and are entitled to be paid in full. The question comes down to, at what point do they put their financial interest ahead of the client?
This office has been involved in one such case in Connecticut where a son working on his mother's behalf hired a law firm that had little experience in Title XIX applications. As a result, the application languished at the Department of Social Services for more than a year and a half. The convalescent home continued to provide services without getting paid, and when the expenses at the convalescent home exceeded $200,000, they applied for an independent third party conservator and pushed the family aside to get the Title XIX application approved. The convalescent home went unpaid, the family was sued for the back rent by the convalescent home, and the conservatorship was appointed. In this case, the family member had retained counsel to create the application, and it was the law firm that had little experience and made a poor application to the state. This was the cause of the application never being approved.
Applicants should be aware that, these days, with most applications to convalescent homes you are guaranteeing to the convalescent home that you will get the family member approved onto Title XIX or you will accept personal financial responsibility for the outstanding debt. Be aware of the exposure you face throughout the entire process. Your situation is stressful enough. Be sure that you retain the services of those professionals with the experience to get you through the application process. Call us. We can help.
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