According to a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New Jersey Office of the Public Advocate is investigating allegations that a company operating eight assisted living facilities in South Jersey improperly discharged residents when their savings ran out. Public Advocate Ronald K. Chen is scheduled to appear in Court in early June 2008 to ask a judge to enforce a subpoena issued against Assisted Living Concepts Inc. of Milwaukee.
An investigation was started after the adult children of residents at an assisted living facility in Cape May County contacted the Public Advocate with concerns that their parents were being involuntarily discharged because their private funds had run out, making them eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid pays less than the facility charges residents paying with their own money. The Public Advocate’s Office issued a subpoena in January seeking information about residents in all eight of the company’s South Jersey assisted living facilities. In February, the company rejected the subpoena but also promised not to evict any residents because their private funds had run out. However, in April, the public advocate learned that more people were allegedly being evicted because their funds had run out, so the subpoena was renewed.
Residents alleged that staff members from the assisted living facilities initially told them and other potential residents that if their private funds ran out, they would be able to stay at the facilities with Medicaid funding alone. However, staff members later told residents it was company policy not to accept Medicaid payments.
A link to the Philadelphia Inquirer article can be found here – Assisted-living firm accused of evicting residents when savings gone | Philadelphia Inquirer | 05/31/2008