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Caring for Mom

Caring for Mom.....

Radha Chanderraj - Monday, February 11, 2013

As an elder law attorney I advise many clients about the necessity of planning for future long term care needs. However, how do you plan for the long term care needs for parents who live outside the United States? If you are one of several immigrant families who have aging parents living outside the U.S. start your research. Long term care insurance is a not an option in most third world countries and there are very few available choices for adult day care. I found this out the hard way, when my mom who is 87 years old recently developed hip problems and needed assistance with her day to day activities.

Mom was relatively healthy and lives in an apartment by herself.   My older sister lives in the same apartment complex and has been keeping an eye on mom. However, during the recent health care episode, my sister (who is herself over the age of 65 and has some health issues) found it hard to care for mom and looked for help. She had very little luck finding a personal care provider who could work a 12 hour shift. Fortunately, my husband was browsing through the Stanford alumni lists and discovered that a young Stanford graduate who had his roots in India had started an elder care organization in India called Epoch Elder care. We contacted Epoch, headquartered in Delhi and have been working with them this past month to put a care plan in place. They have been responsive and we are optimistic that things will work out.

I would like to hear from other first generation immigrants about their experiences with caring for elderly parents who still live outside the United States.

Medicare's Observation Policy Comes Under Scrutiny

Radha Chanderraj - Friday, November 02, 2012

Medicare is launching a pilot program to determine whether relaxing its payment rules can help patients who require nursing home care after a hospital stay and then are charged thousands of dollars. Seniors are often unexpectedly required to pay for nursing home care because they were considered to be under "observation" in the hospital, rather than an inpatient.

Medicare only pays for nursing home care if it follows a three-day inpatient hospital stay. Staying overnight in a hospital does not automatically make you an inpatient. Often the stay is classified as observation, which is considered outpatient care. If you are dismissed to a nursing home after being in the hospital for observation, you will be responsible for paying for your care.

Currently, if a hospital bills for an inpatient stay, but Medicare decides the patient should have been classified as under observation, then the hospital can lose its entire Medicare reimbursement. Therefore, hospitals are often reluctant to classify a patient as inpatient. The pilot program would allow the hospital to rebill Medicare for observation services if the inpatient care bill is rejected. The program is being implemented at 380 hospitals and will run for three years.

For more information and background on the issue please visit elderlawanswers.com

—article from ElderLawAnswers, 8/13/2012