Is your loved one eligible for Medicaid to pay for their nursing home expenses? Medicaid is an important government system put in place to help those who need government assistance to pay for their medical care, and many people utilize it to help them pay for their nursing homes. Approximately two-thirds of nursing home residents are Medicaid-eligible and the Medicaid program accounts for about half of nursing homes’ total revenue. The Nursing Home Reform Law helps ensure that nursing homes do not take advantage of or discriminate towards these nursing home residents, although discrimination can still take place.
Fact: a Medicaid-eligible resident is entitled to the same level of service provided to any other nursing home resident. The Nursing Home Reform Law states that a nursing home “must establish and maintain identical policies and practices regarding transfer, discharge, and the provision of services required under the state [Medicaid] plan for all individuals regardless of source of payment”. This means that the nursing home, to abide by federal law, cannot deny services to a Medicaid-eligible resident that they would give to another resident paying from a different source. In fact, it is illegal for them to do that because it is a federal regulation. Nursing homes may attempt to make several claims to justify their lesser treatment for these individuals, though if you know how to protect your loved one, this should not become a problem.
You can fight discrimination by emphasizing this law to the nursing home if any problems should arise. The nursing home should be aware of this law and its’ implications and this should cease any discrimination that might be happening. If the nursing home gets into any financial discussion with the resident or the resident’s family, claiming that Medicaid is causing them to lose money and so they have to provide lesser care, the resident and his/her family needs to understand that it does not matter. The nursing home’s financial state is irrelevant and it is a federal law to provide equal care to all residents. If the nursing home is really taking a hit from Medicaid payments, then they can cancel their Medicaid certification, causing them not to take Medicaid-eligible residents anymore. If they have not cancelled this certification, then they cannot complain about the lower payments that they are getting.
If you or your loved one is experiencing discrimination from their nursing home because of Medicaid-eligibility, please contact the Dan Pruitt Law Firm. We are equipped to help you fight this discrimination and help make sure that you or your loved one obtains the care that they truly deserve.
Dan Pruitt is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from University of Georgia, and has been practicing law for 25 years. Dan Pruitt believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.