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Advocacy is Essential When Applying for Medicaid

As an attorney for Rothkoff Law Group, I help support our Public Benefits staff with complicated Medicaid issues and unexpected application outcomes when applying for Medicaid. As a result, I have found the internal processes of state Medicaid agencies processing Medicaid applications do not always comply with state and federal Medicaid laws, often to the detriment of our clients. For this reason, it is essential to have an advocate when applying for Medicaid for long-term care in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It is worth noting I do not [...]

By |2021-10-22T09:09:10-04:00October 21st, 2021|Blog, Medicaid|

Planning for Future Care: Balancing Life with Risk

At a certain age, planning for future care is a critical consideration for preserving your health and finances. If you are 65 years old, what is the chance of you needing long-term services and support? The answer depends on several factors. The statistics do show planning for future care is important before the need arises. According to a 2019 study by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, over a lifetime, the study determined that about 70% of older adults will need help from caregivers or paid aides [...]

By |2021-10-15T09:30:38-04:00October 15th, 2021|Blog|

Arbitration Agreements in Nursing Home Admission Contracts

  On October 1st, a federal appeals court decided to uphold restrictions that limit the use of binding arbitration agreements in nursing home admissions agreements. Binding arbitration agreements prior to the rise of any actual dispute have been promoted for decades as a way to reduce expenses by providing an alternative dispute resolution method. When used properly, arbitration agreements can provide the parties with a less expensive forum to solve disputes. However, binding arbitration agreements have also been used by the business community to attempt to limit themselves from [...]

By |2021-10-08T15:45:03-04:00October 8th, 2021|Blog, Law Update, Nursing Home|

Elder Care Law Services and the Power of the Written Word

As we deal with the day-to-day issues of managing a law firm and providing elder care law services for clients and their loved ones, we sometimes unintentionally forget why we do what we do. It is a natural human reaction to address the here and now before you. Our focus as an elder care law firm is to ensure our clients receive the best care possible, determine how care can be reasonably paid for, and ease the burden on the caregiver family member. We received a handwritten note via [...]

By |2021-10-01T10:17:07-04:00October 1st, 2021|Aging, Blog, Elder Care|

Important Medicare Provisions Seniors Should Know About

Congress is gearing up to pass a budget reconciliation package, and there are several important Medicare provisions affecting seniors, including first-time Medicare coverage for vision, hearing, and dental care.      These Medicare provisions are proposed to phase in vision, hearing, and dental benefits in 2022, 2023, and 2028, respectively. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that vision benefits would cost $30 billion over 10 years, hearing benefits would cost $89 billion over 10 years, and dental benefits would cost $238 billion over 10 years.  The legislation would also make [...]

By |2021-09-24T08:29:28-04:00September 24th, 2021|Blog, Law Update, Medicare|

Planning Ahead for the Medicaid Look-Back Period

What is a Medicaid Look-Back Period, and why should you be concerned about planning ahead for Medicaid benefits? We encounter the following factual scenario on a regular basis, which will shed some light on why you may want to start planning now. Mom can no longer live independently. Mom sells her house and moves in with her son and his family. Son uses mom’s money to remodel or add an addition to his home and to help pay household expenses, such as utilities, food, maintenance. Mom never puts anything [...]

By |2021-09-17T08:58:48-04:00September 16th, 2021|Blog, Caregiver, Medicaid|

Self-Directed Medicaid Home Care Options

For a multitude of reasons, even once approved for Medicaid, many families have been hesitant to move their loved ones to an Assisted Living or Nursing Home environment, opting instead for home care. However, home care through an agency comes with issues of its own, primarily rooted in staffing shortages. It is no secret that the United States’ aging population is growing, an impending crisis exacerbated and exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Philadelphia Inquirer recently called out Pennsylvania’s lack of comprehensive eldercare solutions, rating their “level of preparedness [...]

By |2021-09-10T12:45:53-04:00September 10th, 2021|Assisted Living, Blog, Medicaid, Nursing Home|

Recognizing and Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

In addition to advocating for the needs of our clients, the Rothkoff Care Coordination team often addresses the need of the caregiver with whom we communicate, including the impact of caregiver burnout. A caregiver is typically a spouse or adult child who is assisting with tasks ranging from meal preparation and medication management to physically assisting their loved one with activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, and grooming. Sometimes caregiving simply involves concern over the aging loved one’s wellbeing and checking to make sure this loved one is [...]

By |2021-09-03T10:45:38-04:00September 2nd, 2021|Blog, Caregiver|

Walk to End Alzheimer’s: Love for Lois

Every year, thousands of Americans lace up for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s—the world’s largest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. And every year, our team walks for our dear friend and former co-worker Lois, who is living with this disease. Lois’s grandson, Jared Fisch, pens an anecdotal essay on what it looks like to be on the other end of Alzheimer’s watching a loved one change before you. Read on below and join the Rothkoff Law Group – Love for Lois team in the Walk [...]

By |2021-08-26T16:20:53-04:00August 26th, 2021|Aging, Blog|

Preventing Falls: Tips on Caring for Aging Parents

As our loved ones age, it's important to help in preventing falls in an effort to help save them from devastating effects on their health. There are steps you can take to lower the risk. It is always a good idea to have a conversation with your loved one’s doctor about what might be appropriate. Here are a few talking points for preventing falls to discuss with your loved one and/or their doctor. Start by asking your loved one’s doctor whether they are at high risk for falls. Ask [...]

By |2021-08-20T09:02:06-04:00August 19th, 2021|Aging, Blog|

Nursing Home Visitation

Unfortunately, nursing home visitation and visits to long-term care communities in NJ, PA, and beyond are once again being limited or restricted due to residents and/or staff contracting the COVID-19 virus. We have seen the devastating consequences of visitation restrictions on long-term care residents. During the past year, long-term care advocates have called for each community to allow for an “essential caregiver” during a health care emergency.  In June 2021, a bill was introduced in Congress to recognize essential caregivers. The Essential Caregivers Act (H.R. 3733) is bipartisan legislation [...]

By |2021-08-13T08:39:15-04:00August 11th, 2021|Blog, Nursing Home|

Pennsylvania Updates Nursing Home Regulations

Acknowledging that current statewide nursing home regulations are insufficient to meet the physical, psychological and social needs of residents, Pennsylvania announced a number of changes this past week.  One of the most significant being a 35% increase in direct care provided to each nursing home resident -  4.1 daily hours, up from 2.7. Although lessons learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic contributed to these new nursing home regulations, studies show that raising the number of care hours improves quality of care, prevents infections, falls, malnutrition, and dehydration.  In short, more [...]

By |2021-08-06T08:31:49-04:00August 5th, 2021|Blog, Law Update, Nursing Home|

Qualified Income Trust for Medicaid

Applying for Medicaid for yourself or a loved one can be a difficult process. Many people believe they have successfully navigated all clinical and financial criteria, only to discover that the applicant requires a Qualified Income Trust, or QIT. Prior to December 1, 2014, all Medicaid applicants in the State of New Jersey with a monthly income in excess of the annual income limit, $2,382.00/month in 2021, were ineligible for the benefit. The creation of QITs has allowed for a wider range of applicants but has further complicated the [...]

By |2021-07-30T08:31:55-04:00July 22nd, 2021|Aging, Blog, Medicaid|

LGBTQI+ Senior Bill of Rights

New Jersey is one of four states leading the charge against discrimination based on sexual orientation in long-term care facilities. In March of this year, Governor Murphy signed S2545/A4388, known as the LGBTQI+ Senior Bill of Rights, into law. The new law, similar to those in Massachusetts, California, and Illinois, bans discrimination in long-term care communities based on gender identity and sexual orientation.   The significance of the LGBTQI+ Senior Bill of Rights is twofold. First, it mandates the staff and administration of long-term care communities receive training on caring [...]

By |2021-07-23T08:38:14-04:00July 22nd, 2021|Aging, Blog, Law Update|

LGBT Advocacy for the Senior Population

In a recent post, our client Services Director, Manon Adcock, referenced the challenges of LGBT advocacy among the aging population. Two years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a SAGECare training Manon had mentioned, along with attorneys Bryan Adler and Roxane Crowley of Rothkoff Law Group. SAGECare is a national organization that offers resources and LGBT advocacy for aging adults. We attended an all-day program that offered cultural competency training for advocating for these individuals. It was an eye-opening experience to hear the history of LGBT advocacy groups [...]

By |2021-07-16T08:35:09-04:00July 15th, 2021|Aging, Blog|
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