Our Broken Care System: How an Aging Ally Can Help

Last week’s blog explored the complexity of and potential changes to the nursing home admission rules laid out by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

There are specific requirements that must be met in order for Medicare to pay for nursing home care.

These rules are complex and confusing, and mistakes can be costly. As we discussed in that blog, patients who are on “observation status” in the hospital and not “inpatient” status are not eligible for Medicare-reimbursed nursing home services.  Advocates have detailed stories of families not being aware of this, patients getting care in a skilled nursing home, and then nursing home bills of thousands of dollars being left unpaid by Medicare.

The only way to avoid these kinds of pitfalls is to have an experienced, knowledgeable advocate in your corner.

In a related story, you might have heard about Dr. Hasan Shanawani’s (@hshanawaniMD) misadventures when his 83-year-old father was hospitalized. Even as a physician, Dr. Shanawani had a difficult time fighting his father’s observation status and getting good communication from the hospital staff. His story is just one of thousands of how navigating and getting good care from our healthcare system can seem impossible.

The long-term care world can be just as frustrating and difficult to navigate as the healthcare world.

Hurley Elder Care Law offers comprehensive services when working with older adults for just this reason.  We have care coordinators in addition to public benefit specialists and elder law attorneys.  Our care coordinators help clients and families connect with and advocate for good long-term care. They address care concerns, end-of-life issues, and disease management problems while the attorneys handle the legal and financial concerns. All of our clients are facing the tough reality of finding, getting, and paying for good care.

As an extra step, Hurley Elder Care Law is also offering Aging Ally Services.

To meet the growing needs of older adults who have no identifiable healthcare or financial agent, Hurley Elder Care Law has started offering this service to clients.  The staff can become the named agent, trustee, or executor on the estate planning documents and can carry out the responsibilities to the extent needed.

In an ideal world, the care world would not be this complicated and would not require professional advocates.

The long-term care and healthcare worlds are complex and confusing. Having an experienced and knowledgeable team of experts to help you through it is becoming necessary. To find out more about the services at Hurley Elder Care Law, please call our office at (404) 843-0121, or contact us here.