Monthly Archives: April 2017

NJ’s Division of Consumer Affairs Issued Warning About Non-Lawyers Who Assist Consumers Filing Medicaid Applications

April 28, 2017

New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) released a Consumer Brief on Medicaid Advisors/Application Assistors. Medicaid Advisors/Application Assistors are non-lawyers who provide limited services without payment or compensation in connection with Medicaid applications. According to the DCA Consumer Brief, the limited services which Medicaid Advisors/Application Assistors may perform include the following: Continue reading

The Patients Were Saved. That’s Why the Families Are Suing.

April 28, 2017

What happened to Beatrice Weisman before dawn on Aug. 29, 2013, was not supposed to happen: The medical staff at Maryland General Hospital found her in cardiac arrest, resuscitated her and kept her alive.

The matriarch of a close-knit family on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Ms. Weisman, then 83, had suffered a serious stroke in June and had spent weeks in two hospitals.

Fortunately, she and her husband had drafted advance directives; she named her husband, William, to make medical decisions if she became unable to. Continue reading

Declaring War on Financial Abuse of Older People

April 28, 2017

Amy A. Lecoq was a stay-at-home mother raising her young son and mourning the death of her mother. But when her grandmother reluctantly admitted five years ago that she had been swindled out of her life savings, Ms. Lecoq sprang into action.

She shed her home-centered life, first to push prosecutors to investigate and bring charges, and then, earlier this year, to become an activist, traveling around her home state of Washington to lecture and testify about the financial exploitation of older Americans. She has also become a lobbyist, exhorting state lawmakers to pass legislation that would toughen penalties for people who take financial advantage of vulnerable older people like her grandmother.

“When I tell our story, so many people tell me that, ‘Oh, that happened to my grandmother, my aunt or some other family member,’” Ms. Lecoq, 41, said in a telephone interview from her home in Camano Island, Wash. “But then they say they didn’t know it was a crime, or they didn’t know it could be reported or punished.”

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Decision-Making Ability and Risk of Elder Mistreatment

April 28, 2017

There are many factors relevant to decision-making ability of older people including changes in the brain and cognition and social functioning. These changes can result in decision-making impairments that affect an older person’s ability to pay bills, drive, follow recipes, adhere to medication schedules, or refuse medical treatment (Braun & Moye, 2010; IOM, 2015). Decision-making ability may fluctuate at a given point in time (Falk et al., 2014), and while an older person may lack decision-making ability in one area, they may retain it in other areas (Braun & Moye, 2010). Decision-making ability is of special concern for the field of elder mistreatment because impaired decision-making can lead to an increased risk for abuse and exploitation among older people (Spreng et al., 2016). Thus, understanding the many factors relevant to decision-making ability is imperative to reduce risk of abuse and exploitation while maintaining and promoting autonomy among older people.Research presented in this brief builds upon foundational work among experts in the field, such as Grisso and Applebaum (20 08). Continue reading

Most Americans Still Avoid Estate Planning, Study Says

April 28, 2017

Americans still plan for their estate and financial legacy by the seat of their pants, a new study says.

More than half of Americans don’t even have a formal estate plan, and those who do often fail to talk about their plans with their families, according to a survey from Chicago-based BMO Wealth Management.

The the survey report released this week found that 52 percent of Americans do not have a will in place. Continue reading

Boomerang Seniors: Aging Adults Move To Be Near Mom Or Dad

April 27, 2017

Like many peers in their 70s, Lois and Richard Jones of Media, Pa., sold their home and downsized, opting for an apartment in a nearby senior living community they had come to know well. For 13 years, they have visited Lois’ mother, Madge Wertzberger, there.

Wertzberger, 95, is in assisted living at Granite Farms Estates. Lois, 73, and Richard, 76, who have been married 56 years, moved into an adjoining building in October. Continue reading

IRS warns of tax season scams

April 27, 2017

The IRS wants taxpayers and tax professionals alike to be vigilant about potential tax scams as tax season winds down.

The IRS noticed a spike in phishing (a form of internet fraud) email scams Thursday and Friday that sought to steal the usernames and passwords for IRS e-Services of tax professionals. Continue reading

California lawmakers release details on universal health care bill

April 27, 2017

SACRAMENTO – An ambitious proposal to create a single statewide insurance plan for every Californian — including undocumented residents, seniors on Medicare and people who now get their health coverage through work — began to take shape on Thursday when two legislators released details about what services would be covered and who would run the giant program.

Still missing, however, are the details that have bedeviled universal health care advocates for decades: how much it would cost taxpayers. And the plan will be difficult, if not impossible, to execute without permission from Washington to steer billions of federal Medicare and Medicaid dollars into a trust fund that covers everyone.
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Wyden Asks HHS to Ensure Verma Complies with Ethics Agreement

April 27, 2017

WASHINGTON Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Acting General Counsel Jeffrey Davis requesting information about how the agency will ensure CMS Administrator Seema Verma is in compliance with her ethics agreements not to directly work on matters relating to seven states with which she has previously done consulting related to Medicaid. Continue reading