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Expanded Skilled Nursing Facility Medicare Coverage During the Covid-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly devastating for nursing homes and their residents. Aside from the tragically disproportionate loss of life, care for surviving residents has been delayed or interrupted due to infection, facility lockdowns, or other health system disruptions. As a result, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has waived two limitations on Medicare Part A skilled nursing facility (SNF) coverage during the coronavirus pandemic: The 3-day qualifying hospital stay requirement; and The 100-day benefit period.  However, CMS treats the two SNF coverage expansions differently from [...]

By |2021-03-04T08:21:58-05:00March 4th, 2021|Aging, Assisted Living, Blog, Elder Care, Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing Home|

Elder Care Law Case Study – Addressing the Needs of an Elderly Parent and Her Special Needs Adult Child

Mary’s mother and sister needed help. Lots of it. The sister, Violet, is developmentally disabled and needs 24-hour care. Janice, their mother, was Violet’s sole caregiver for over 50 years. Mary knew that Janice was becoming increasingly confused, but it seemed like she was still taking great care of Violet. Then, Janice and Violet went for a long walk that ended with them wandering into a local nursing home and Janice asking if they could move in. Alarmed, a manager at the facility called for help. Janice was admitted [...]

By |2021-02-25T13:23:22-05:00February 18th, 2021|Aging, Assisted Living, Blog, Caregiver, Elder Care, Family, Nursing Home|

Elder Law Planning: More Than Just Medicaid

When it comes to elder law planning, and when I meet with clients, the focus tends to be heavily centered on finances. When retirement accounts are dwindling due to a spouse’s high nursing home bill or a parent’s complex financial management style has left an adult child overwhelmed and confused, it is easy to become focused on Medicaid as the magic solution. However, Medicaid is just one piece of a much larger puzzle. A few years ago, I worked with the sister caregiver of a client who required long-term [...]

By |2021-02-25T08:19:00-05:00February 15th, 2021|Aging, Blog, Elder Care, Health Law, Medicaid|

Supernova: A Love Story for Valentine’s Day

Director Harry Macqueen’s sophomore film, Supernova (2020), joins the ranks of Away From Her (2007), The Savages (2007), and Still Alice (2015)—films that depict individuals with dementia struggling to maintain their independence and the mental toll the illness takes on not only the patient but also their kin. What makes Supernova distinct from its predecessors, however, is its focus on a gay couple. Tuskar (Stanley Tucci), a man living with early-onset dementia, and his husband, Sam (Colin Firth), struggle to navigate the uncertain terrain that accompanies caring for a loved one with dementia. While on a road trip to [...]

By |2021-02-11T14:18:05-05:00February 9th, 2021|Blog|

Update on Telehealth Insurance Coverage

Over the past year, telehealth insurance coverage has evolved. While telehealth is not a new practice, it has become much more widely utilized since the outbreak of COVID-19.  Historically, telehealth was utilized in certain instances, such as for patients who lived in more rural areas with limited access to resources. In regard to telehealth insurance coverage, effective March 2020, Medicare began covering these visits under much broader guidelines and were paid at the same rate as in-person visits. Some of the most common technology platforms include FaceTime, Zoom, Google [...]

By |2021-03-02T11:35:53-05:00February 4th, 2021|Blog, Elder Care, Health Law|

Effect of Stimulus Payments on Medicaid Eligibility

In light of the recent $600 stimulus bill payments, as well as the potential for up to $1,400 more to be paid to all eligible individuals over the next few months, we wanted to update you regarding the effect of the stimulus payments on Medicaid eligibility.  Additionally, as well as an update on the long-term care communities’ responsibilities regarding the payments for residents. In May 2020, the NJ Division of Medical and Health Services (DMAHS) advised that an individual, including a nursing home resident, can make cash gifts to [...]

By |2021-02-02T17:08:56-05:00January 29th, 2021|Assisted Living, Blog, Medicaid|

Can a Nursing Home Require Vaccination of Residents and Staff?

A recent article in the Doylestown Patch detailed that Neshaminy Manor, a Bucks County, Pennsylvania nursing home, announced they will require all staff to accept the COVID-19 vaccination.  Those staff that choose not to vaccinate risk losing their jobs.  This naturally leads to the question - Can a nursing home require vaccination of staff as a condition of continued employment?  Can any employer?   The answer is rather murky. Generally, if failure to vaccinate puts other employees, clients, or the public at risk of infection, then employers may require vaccination [...]

By |2021-02-02T17:08:43-05:00January 22nd, 2021|Assisted Living, Blog, Elder Care, Nursing Home|

What Seniors Need to Know About the New Stimulus Package

The new $900 billion stimulus package was signed into law last week in order to address the continued health and economic fallout of the COVID pandemic. The relief measure includes a one-time $600 payment per eligible adult and child, but those $600 payments are not the only provision seniors should know about. The coronavirus relief package was included as a part of a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill, which also contained changes to key senior programs. Here are some of the legislation’s most important provisions for older Americans. $600 [...]

By |2021-01-04T15:31:26-05:00January 4th, 2021|Blog, Caregiver, Elder Care, Health Law|

Adapting to Change Brings Both Joy and Sadness

We have had to change the way we do practically everything from attending care conferences, to client meetings, to marketing, and as 2020 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the past year working in long-term care planning with both sadness and happiness. The sadness, of course comes from the all of the chaos that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused. Never in my life would I have imagined such a crisis could occur. In March, I remember thinking “This cannot be that bad, right?”, but with each [...]

By |2021-01-22T09:36:20-05:00December 15th, 2020|Around the Office, Blog, Elder Care|

Your Public Benefits Have a Lookback – Even Around the Holidays!

The holiday season is upon us yet again. It is easy to get caught up in the festivities and forget that if you or a loved one are enrolled in a public benefits program or are planning to apply in the future, it is important to remember that even holiday gifting can impact eligibility. Are you or your spouse receiving Medicaid benefits? Or will you need long-term care in the next five years? If so, a review of five years’ worth of all financial documents is conducted during the [...]

By |2020-12-10T08:54:12-05:00December 10th, 2020|Blog, Health Law, Medicaid|

Helping Seniors Stay Connected During the Surge

Let's look at what we can be helping seniors stay connected during the pandemic surge. I think I was more upset about my father having Thanksgiving alone than he. My small family is scattered across the states, and it was not safe for us to be together. While I worry about my dad living solo, he sees friends, can handle facetime without tech support, and is the master of the pithy text. Not all seniors are faring as well. Physical and mental limitations cause many of our nation’s seniors [...]

By |2020-12-01T08:30:13-05:00December 1st, 2020|Blog, Elder Care, Family|

Personal Reflections on Being Thankful in the Face of the Pandemic

As a Director of Care Coordination of Rothkoff Law Group, I have unfortunately witnessed how the current pandemic has affected the lives of so many vulnerable older adults. As we still digest our Thanksgiving dinner and prepare for the holiday season before us, many people (myself included) are facing the disappointment, anger, and grief of not being able to spend the holidays with our loved ones as we have in years past. Sure, I had my own personal woes that I can attribute to “typical 2020;” but I have reflected [...]

By |2020-11-25T08:24:50-05:00November 25th, 2020|Around the Office, Blog|

Can Nursing Home Residents Leave the Facility for the Holiday

Can and should nursing home residents leave the facility for the holiday? If a resident decides to leave the facility for the holiday, CMS recommends certain actions when the resident returns. Consider this scenario: A client was in a local nursing home for a rehabilitation stay following a fall resulting in hospitalization. His spouse communicated that her husband wanted to come home for the day to spend Thanksgiving Day with his family, and would be devastated if he was unable to due so for health reasons. The nursing home [...]

By |2020-11-20T15:17:42-05:00November 20th, 2020|Nursing Home|

There is No Place for Politics in Elder Care Law

It is my personal opinion that there is no place for politics in elder care law. I recently discussed the election during a dinner conversation with a friend. We discussed our political views and opinions. He correctly observed he never sees political opinions on my Facebook or LinkedIn pages. He inquired why I chose not to engage in a political discussion, suggesting whether it was because I wanted to be perceived as apolitical from a business perspective. In a way, he was right, but not for the reasons he [...]

By |2020-11-11T10:43:02-05:00November 11th, 2020|Blog, Elder Care, Health Law, Nursing Home|

PA and NJ Long Term Care Visitation Guidelines

Let's take a moment to review the new PA and NJ Long Term Care Visitation Guidelines that have been established post COVID. It has been a very difficult eight plus months for both loved ones and residents of long-term care communities (LTC), referring to residents in assisted living, personal care homes and nursing homes). Social isolation has taken an extreme toll on the residents. During the past few months, many family members have taken advantage of outside visits with residents. However, as the weather turns colder and with the [...]

By |2020-11-04T09:10:40-05:00November 4th, 2020|Blog, Elder Care, Health Law, Law Update, Nursing Home|
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