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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|

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|

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 |2020-09-16T16:20:54-04:00September 16th, 2020|Assisted Living, Blog, Caregiver, Elder Care, Family, Nursing Home, Uncategorized|

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|

Does Medicare Pay for Nursing Home Care?

Many people are under the misperception that Medicare will pay for nursing home care. Medicare, the federally funded health insurance received upon attaining 65 years of age, will only pay for skilled nursing care under certain circumstances and then only for a limited period of time. When you have been discharged from a hospital stay of at least three days to a Medicare-approved skilled nursing facility, and if you require “skilled” care for treatment of the condition for which you were hospitalized, Medicare will pay 100% of the cost [...]

By |2020-07-28T10:57:44-04:00July 28th, 2020|Blog, Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing Home|

NJ Long-Term Care Facilities to Restart Visits

The State of New Jersey has announced directives for long-term care facilities to restart visits with family and friends. Beginning June 21, New Jersey's nursing homes, assisted living residences, dementia care homes, pediatric transitional care homes, and comprehensive personal care homes, can welcome reunions with loved ones in a designated outdoor space. Individuals should check with long-term care facilities for specific visitor policies. Pursuant to the NJ Department of Health Directive, measures that must be in place to reduce risks.  Directives for long-term care facilities to restart visits A [...]

By |2020-06-22T09:23:28-04:00June 22nd, 2020|Assisted Living, Blog, Family, Nursing Home|

The Need to Reform the U.S. Long-Term Care System After COVID-19

On May 27, 2020, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article entitled, “ Long-Term Care Policy after COVID-19 — Solving the Nursing Home Crisis”.  The authors argue that the tragedy unfolding in nursing homes over the past three months is the result of our country’s decades of neglect of long-term care policy.  Specifically, “COVID-19 has exposed the cracks in our tenuous system of providing and funding long-term care, and there are no easy fixes. But we believe we are well past due for comprehensive policies that take [...]

By |2020-08-21T10:51:55-04:00June 1st, 2020|Blog, Nursing Home|

CMS Issues Guidance on Reopening Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidelines on reopening nursing homes on Monday, May 18, with parameters around testing requirements and visitation — while emphasizing that nursing facilities will be among the last institutions that can safely reopen as the U.S. takes tentative steps toward moving out of COVID-19-induced lockdowns. CMS announced that states have flexibility on deciding how the criteria in the guidelines should be implemented, given the various ways the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting different communities.  Please note, these guidelines apply to reopening nursing [...]

By |2020-06-22T14:53:31-04:00May 26th, 2020|Blog, Nursing Home|
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