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January 26, 2015

elder care is the new horrifying

This is going to slip through the cracks, on account of the country's Major Media Center, and a bunch of other East Coast cities, staring down what seems to be a sizable blizzard which will be crippling the city shortly.  Don't forget to stock up on snacks!  Can't bingewatch without snacks.

But this story ran this morning, and it should be on all of our radars, because it's something that's going to affect all of us, whether personally or in the care of our parents/loved ones.  What has happened is that nursing homes have found an exciting new way to make the lives of our elders miserable, as they petition for guardianship of clients late on payment:

Brett D. Nussbaum, a lawyer who represents Mary Manning Walsh and many other nursing homes, said Mr. Palermo's devotion to his wife was irrelevant to the decision to seek a court-appointed guardian in July, when the billing dispute over his wife's care reached a stalemate, with an outstanding balance approaching $68,000.

"The Palermo case is no different than any other nursing home bill that they had difficulty collecting," Mr. Nussbaum said, estimating that he had brought 5,000 guardianship cases himself in 21 years of practice. "When you have families that do not cooperate and an incapacitated person, guardianship is a legitimate means to get the nursing home paid."

The case in point, that of the Palermos, is one where the wife is incapacitated, the husband disputes a sudden increase in co-pays, and the nursing home, Mary Manning Walsh, tries to intimidate the husband by suing for guardianship of the wife.

Which is as fucking heinous as it sounds.

Anecdotally, I know that the elder care industry is insidious and makes the health care/insurance industry look like a bunch of freaking angels.  I've heard many a story in which in order to enroll a loved one into certain facilities you'd have to grant a lien on the family home.  Which sounds pretty draconian?

Unless of course you compare that to suing for guardianship of your grandma.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:24 AM