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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|

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|

The Importance of Nursing Home Communication

The importance of nursing home communication and relaying information clearly is a key consideration for anyone entering a home and for family members involved in the process. Good nursing home communication helps ensure you or your loved one, as well as nursing home staff, are all on the same page together. Deciding whether it is best for mom or dad to move to a nursing home is a very difficult decision. Their well-being and safety are your primary goals, especially in these times of Covid. After considering other options, [...]

By |2021-06-25T08:37:46-04:00June 25th, 2021|Blog, Nursing Home|

Expanded Skilled Nursing Facility Medicare Coverage During the 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 |2021-03-23T14:38:01-04:00March 4th, 2021|Aging, Assisted Living, Blog, Elder Care, Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing Home|

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 |2021-03-23T14:39:54-04:00February 18th, 2021|Aging, Assisted Living, Blog, Caregiver, Elder Care, Family, Nursing Home|

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 |2021-03-23T14:43:38-04:00January 22nd, 2021|Assisted Living, Blog, Elder Care, Nursing Home|

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|

Will I Lose My House if I Go on Medicaid?

One question I am almost always asked: Will I lose my house if I go on Medicaid? Throughout my legal career – beginning as a public interest attorney in Philadelphia through my work at Rothkoff Law Group – I have given many community presentations on advanced-care planning and long-term care. This is the one question I am almost always asked. First, to clarify, Medicaid is a health insurance program administered by the states and jointly funded by the states and federal government. Medicaid programs vary by state, but generally [...]

By |2020-10-13T12:44:31-04:00October 13th, 2020|Blog, Medicare, Nursing Home|

Important CMS Update on Nursing Home Visitation

After six months of strict visitation restrictions in nursing homes, on September 17th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a memo significantly easing those restrictions. The new guidance, which is effective immediately, permits outdoor visitation, indoor visitation, and compassionate care visits and lays out a framework for those visits.  CMS notes that this guidance replaces all previous guidance.  Highlights of the September 17 memo include: General Guidance About Visits Visitation should be person-centered, consider the resident’s physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being, and support their quality of [...]

By |2020-09-21T08:42:42-04:00September 21st, 2020|Health Law, Nursing Home|

The Importance of Nursing Home Care Plan Meetings

As an elder care law firm, our emphasis is on health care advocacy via our five elder care coordinators. For those clients in a nursing home setting, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vitally important to engage in health care advocacy since loved ones are unable to regularly visit or participate in person in care plan meetings. This article will discuss what is a care plan meeting and why it is so very important for families to participate in the care plan to be aware of their loved [...]

By |2021-07-09T15:43:24-04:00September 16th, 2020|Assisted Living, Blog, Caregiver, Elder Care, Family, Nursing Home|

Long Term Care Residents Can Vote and Should Vote

Long term care residents can vote and should vote. It is their constitutional right even in the midst of a pandemic. The latest coronavirus challenge: How do we hold a general election during a pandemic? As the politicians, media, advocacy groups, and pundits debate the merits of remote voting, one voice is notably absent – advocates for residents in long-term care communities. While some of the more cantankerous long-term care residents may disagree, moving to a long-term care setting does not strip people of their rights as citizens. Long [...]

By |2020-08-25T10:22:19-04:00August 25th, 2020|Assisted Living, Blog, Elder Care, Nursing Home|

Dealing with an Unexpected Discharge from a Nursing Home

Last week my phone rang, it was the daughter of a client. She had an emergency. An unofficial Rothkoff Law Group motto is “There are no elder law emergencies…for us. But for the families we work with, there are.” The emergency was that mom, in need of long-term nursing home care, was soon to be discharged from a local nursing home because they had no “long-term care beds available”. The facility was recommending a variety of other nursing home options. The family was very pleased with the care the [...]

By |2020-08-27T12:32:33-04:00August 14th, 2020|Assisted Living, Blog, Elder Care, Nursing Home|
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