Health Law

The Obama administration touted ACOs as one of the most promising reforms in the 2010 federal health care law.  The administration set a goal that by the end of 2018, half of Medicare spending currently based on the volume of procedures a doctor or hospital performs will instead be linked to quality and frugality.  But, so far the […]

Case Law Update – Federal Appeals Court Rules Short Term Annuities Are Not Resources Preventing Medicaid Eligibility On September 2, 2015, in the case of Zahner vs. Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, a federal appeals court ruled that annuities with certain characteristics, including nonassignability clauses, are not assets to be counted as resources” for purposes of […]

Illinois has recently joined the small list of states to pass a law that allows nursing home residents and their families to place video or audio monitoring devices in resident rooms.   Illinois joins Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Maryland who have previously enacted granny cam statutes.  The new law allows residents of nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities or […]

http://www.hhs.gov/aging/ The above website is a one-stop link to senior resources.  The home page leads to a wealth of information about Social Security, Medicaid, healthy aging, long-term care, HIPAA (health privacy) and methods to submit a complaint. The site allows a user to select his or her state, and click through local information. Seniors who are looking […]

In 2013, for the first time, according to a recent study, federal Medicaid spending for home and community based services (HCBS) accounted for the majority of Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS).  Nationally, this is arguably good news at it is further proof that Medicaid funds are increasing used to serve those in a home and community […]

On July 16, 2015, CMS published in the Federal Register an exhaustive proposed rule on requirements for long-term care facilities. It is the first update of nursing home regulations in over 20 years.  One of the proposed provisions concerns dispute resolution — specifically, binding arbitration agreements — at Sec. 483.70(n). CMS’ posted background on this topic provides, […]

Legislation that will require hospitals to notify patients of their status as outpatients has passed Congress and should be signed into law by the President.  Outpatient status limits the patient’s ability to receive Medicare coverage for care in a skilled nursing facility after discharge from the hospital. The law will apply in situations where a […]

On June 23, 2015, the Jimmo Implementation Council convened at the US Capitol in Washington, DC sponsored by the Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA).  According to CMA “The purpose of the Jimmo Council is to nurture a community of experts committed to working together to implement the Jimmo v. Sebelius Settlement – to open access to Medicare and […]

A recent published report suggests that lowering the Medicare eligibility to age  50 might actually save money.  That argument might sound upside down:  Americans are living longer, so why not delay Medicare eligibility past age 65.  However, one of the country’s top experts on geriatric medicine actually thinks Medicare should start covering preventive health care at age 50.  Dr. Linda […]

On June 15, 2015, the New Jersey Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee approved a bill that will exempt up to $500 per month from being considered as part of the Medicaid five-year look back.  The purpose of the proposed law, A-3760, is to allow residents applying for long-term care not to be penalized for making small gifts […]

There were two Senate hearing held last week on Medicare and Observation Status.  The first hearing related to improving care for Medicare patients with chronic conditions. The Senate Finance Committee recently set up a working group on the subject.  Below is a link to the hearing summary courtesy of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys […]

PBS is premiering a powerful documentary special, Caring for Mom & Dad, during the month of May, with Meryl Streep as the narrator.  Many caregivers will be able to relate to the issues presented in this documentary. Even more important than the video itself will be the conversations that follow viewing. Check your local public t.v. schedule […]

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) has published outreach materials to support communities celebrating Older Americans Month this May.  The 2015 observance theme, “Get into the Act,” honors the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act and emphasizes older adults taking charge of their health and getting engaged in their communities. You can review the outreach materials […]