Planning for Life

Nursing Homes Crisis: Pandemic Deaths and 5-Star Ratings

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 18, 2021

By Harry S. Margolis

Covid-19-nursing-home-care-Medicaid-Medicare-Wellesley-MA-02481

As described in an article in Next Avenue, nursing homes have evolved over the years from alms houses for the poor to today's skilled nursing facilities. At the same time, they've also evolved from homelike settings to be more like hospitals. At the same time, in recent decades, we've seen the huge growth of the assisted living industry which attempts to be more homelike, often aspirational, with luxurious common areas.

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Topics: nursing homes, assisted living, skilled nursing facility

The Challenge of Protecting The House When One Spouse is in a Nursing Home

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 30, 2020

 By Harry S. Margolis

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Clients with a spouse in a nursing home can find themselves facing a difficult planning decision due to the large growth in value of their homes since they purchased them. When one spouse is in a nursing home, normally we advise transferring the house to the healthy spouse. But that can have unfortunate capital gains consequences, depending on which spouse passes away first and whether the surviving spouse sells the house.

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Topics: MassHealth planning, nursing homes, MassHealth, asset protection, capital gains

Deaths in Nursing Homes: How We Let Down Our Older Citizens

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 6, 2020

By Harry S. Margolis

nursing-home-elder-care-attorney-Wellesley-MA-02481

In a recent Spotlight Team article, The Boston Globe reports how, at the beginning of the pandemic, the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker neglected nursing homes, their residents and their staff members, providing them with fewer tests, less protective equipment (PPE), and little assistance as compared to richer and more influential Boston-based hospitals. The result is that Massachusetts has the worst death rate among seniors in the nation, accounting for two thirds of all coronavirus deaths in the state.

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Topics: nursing homes, seniors

Attorney Sarah Hartline Gets MassHealth Transfer Penalty Overturned

Posted by Estey Silva on March 24, 2020

Masshealth-coverage-nursing-home-Wellesley-MA

The MassHealth Board of Hearings ruled in favor of Attorney Sarah Hartline’s client last week in a case involving a transfer of assets from a nursing home resident to her son and a question of whether the transfer was done with the intent to qualify for MassHealth benefits, which would result in a significant disqualification period.

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Topics: nursing homes, Massachusetts, MassHealth, elder law, Medicaid, disqualifying transfer

The Coronavirus and Senior Living Facilities

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 17, 2020

By Harry S. Margolis

Nursing-home-assisted-living-visitor-COVID-19-Wellesley-MA

With seniors being most vulnerable to COVID-19 and many living in the concentrated clusters of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, many are taking drastic measures to bar visitors who might bring in the coronavirus. This has been difficult for many residents and their families. Here is part of an email we received from one Massachusetts grandson about his grandmother:

My family received a call yesterday from my grandmother's nursing facility which is a Wingate. That call stated that they will no longer be allowing any visitors in to visit patients of the facility and that they will be going on a week to week basis of deciding whether to lift the isolation of the entire facility or not.

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Topics: nursing homes, assisted living, CCRCs

5 Common MassHealth Myths & Misconceptions

Posted by Patricia C. D'Agostino on February 18, 2020

 

Masshealth-myth-fact-lein-estate-recovery-irrevocable-trust-Wellesley-MA

With so much at stake, planning — and paying — for long-term care services such as assisted living or nursing home stays can be a confusing and anxiety-ridden process. Medicaid (known as MassHealth in Massachusetts) provides coverage for long-term care costs, including comprehensive coverage for skilled nursing home care and supplemental coverage for the cost of assisted living and home health care, but there are some common misconceptions about what MassHeath does and does not cover and who is eligible.

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Topics: nursing homes, MassHealth, Estate Planning, financial planning, Medicaid, MassHealth lien

Brookline Nursing Home Subject to 93A Claim

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 24, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

Brookline-nursing-home-93A-claim-elder-law-attorney-Wellesley-MA

The U.S. District Court for Boston has ruled that the estate of a deceased resident of the Brookline Health Care Center (BHCC) can pursue its claim that the facility violated the Consumer Protection Act, often referred to by its statutory reference, 93A.

Sarah Theresa Libby died after choking at BHCC on May 7, 2014. This occurred "when she was left unsupervised to eat in the dayroom of the nursing home in which she resided." Mrs. Libby's estate brought suit for wrongful death in Estate of Sarah Theresa Libby v. Park Marion and Vernon Streets Operating Company (U.S. Dist. Ct. Boston, C.A. No. 17-10843-JGD) for negligence and violation of the Consumer Protection Act. The 93A claim carries with it the threat of treble damages and the facility being responsible for the plaintiff's legal fees.

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Topics: nursing homes, assisted living

Reminder: There is No Such Thing as a Medicare Improvement Standard

Posted by Anthony Bushu on March 8, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

hospital-discharge-protections-medicare-legal-guide.pngFor decades, Medicare, skilled nursing facilities, and visiting nurse associations have applied the so-called "improvement" standard in determining whether residents were entitled to Medicare coverage of the care. The standard, which can be found nowhere in Medicare law, only permitted coverage if the skilled treatment was deemed to contribute to improving the patient's condition, which can be difficult to achieve for many ill seniors.

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Topics: Medicare, nursing homes

MassHealth Seeking to Limit Use of Pooled Trusts

Posted by Anthony Bushu on January 11, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

Masshealth-disability-pooled-trust-special-needs-attorney-Wellesley-MA

MassHealth has proposed massive changes to its regulations governing long-term care, both in the community and in nursing homes. Many of these are complicated, but could adversely affect many seniors in the state. One that's not so complicated is a proposal to limit transfers to pooled disability trusts.

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Topics: long-term care planning, nursing homes, MassHealth

11 Nursing Homes to Avoid?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 25, 2015

By Harry S. Margolisimages-2.jpg

The Boston Globe has reported on a New York father and son who have been buying up nursing homes in Massachusetts and then, apparently, cutting costs to such an extent that patient care has suffered. According to an article, "Owners profited as complaints rose." Larry Lipschutz owned a development in Belleville, New Jersey—Branch Brook Gardens—that he ran into the ground with about 1,400 code violations in a March 2004 inspection. His failure to respond to the violations ultimately led to his criminal conviction and fines.

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Topics: nursing homes

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