Elder Law Blog

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

List of Poor-Performing Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a list of under-performing nursing homes, including over thirty facilities in Texas. 

Read more . . .

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New Year's Greetings

The Stone Law Firm wishes you a healthy, prosperous, and happy 2019!  We greatly appreciate the opportunity to provide elders and special needs individuals in the community with legal services.  In 2019, we look forward to assisting clients with navigating complex Medicaid long-term care programs and other public benefits, and with estate planning to maximize independence and protect assets for the benefit of clients and their families.  Our blog will also focus on key issues in improving dementia care, quality of care, and therapy services in long-term care nursing facilities.  Happy New Year to all!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

You Can Disenroll from a Medicare Plan January-March, 2019

Medicare Advantage plans, offered by private insurance companies as an alternative to the traditional Medicare program, are improperly denying many medical claims, according to a New York Times article.   Based on a new report by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, the "plans, which now cover more than 20 million people - more than one-third of Medicare beneficiaries - have an incentive to deny claims 'in an attempt to increase their profits.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Changes to Statutory Durable Power of Attorney

The Texas Legislature has approved major changes to the Statutory Durable Power of Attorney (SDPOA) - the form that allows you to appoint an agent to act for you in certain financial matters - making it imperative to review and consider updating your power of attorney.  Legislators expanded the instrument to include important new powers - including "hot powers" - which may be granted to your agent and may be especially useful for Medicaid Planning, Estate Planning, and Tax Planning purposes.  New agent duties and responsibilities were also added.

The so-called "hot powers" include authorities which may be essential in elder law situations:  for example, the authority to create a trust, to change a beneficiary designation, to create a right of survivorship, and to transfer property to the agent. 

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Nursing Home Rules Revised

The federal rules for nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid have been comprehensively revised, affecting requirements for admission contracts, care planning, resident rights, quality of care, transfer and discharge procedures, protections against abuse neglect, and exploitation, and other aspects of facility life.  Attorney Nancy Stone has co-authored a comprehensive article about the changes, which was published in the spring issue of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) Journal.  To go to our web page and read the article, click here.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Tax Bill Cuts Medicare, Repeals ACA, Threatens Social Security and Medicaid

Senate leaders are working to ram through a tax bill this week which will greatly increase deficits, triggering $25 billion in Medicare cuts and leading to major cuts in Social Security and Medicaid to pay for the deficit.  The bill would chiefly benefit the highest earners while hurting the middle class, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and other experts. In addition, the bill would repeal the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate to purchase health insurance, leading to higher health insurance premiums and making access to health care unaffordable for as many as 13 million. 

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

New Bill Guts Healthcare, Medicaid


A new healthcare bill in the U.S. Senate would cap Medicaid spending per beneficiary, which means the program would no longer be an open-ended entitlement that covers everyone who qualifies for benefits.  Medicaid provides crucial funding of costly long-term care services for low-income elderly and disabled beneficiaries - services that Medicare does not cover.  The Graham-Cassidy bill would also "repeal and replace" key ACA provisions which ensure individuals, particularly those with a pre-existing condition, have access to adequate, affordable medical care.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Senators Secretly Crafting Bill to Cut Eldercare


Following widespread protests at congressional town hall meetings over the American Health Care Act - the bill passed by the House which would repeal key ACA ("Obamacare") provisions, end Medicaid as an entitlement, and leave 23 million uninsured - Senate leaders are crafting their own version of the health care bill in secrecy, with no committee hearings, debate, or public input from stakeholders.   Only 10-12 Republican senators are writing far-reaching health care legislation to "repeal and replace Obamacare," which will instead deprive millions of people, including the sick, elderly and disabled, of access to needed, and in some cases life-saving, medical care.  Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell's goal is to have the full Senate vote on the bill before the July 4th recess, before other senators, the Congressional Budget Office, and the public have reviewed the sweeping legislation, and before the impact of the legislation on the American people can be analyzed and debated in a public forum.  

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Republicans Plan Eldercare Cuts

The Houston Chronicle published the following editorial on April 6, 2016: 

"Cutting the safety net: 

Republicans plan to reduce the federal government's contribution to health care. 

It's the time of year when we face, once again, the specter of Ebenezer Scrooge, that most parsimonious and black-hearted of, well, scrooges. This year, however, he has a modern counterpart whose heart may be even blacker: Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Will Trump Dump Medicaid on the States?

How will elder care be affected when Donald Trump becomes president and a Republican-controlled Congress convenes in January?  We should prepare for potentially severe budget cuts in Medicaid and other programs affecting seniors and people with disabilities, according to news sources, experts, and advocates

Read more . . .

Archived Posts


Attorney Nancy Stone assists clients with Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, and Estate Planning throughout Harris County, TX. I am now based in Sugar Land and serve all of Houston, Harris County, Bellaire, Jersey Village, Cypress, West University, The Heights, Pearland, Alvin, Sugar Land, Missouri City, Kingwood, Humble, The Woodlands, Spring, Tomball, Richmond, Rosenberg Pasadena, Baytown, La Porte, Clear Lake, Texas City, Katy, Friendswood, Stafford, as well as Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Montgomery County, Galveston County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Waller County and throughout Southeast TX.

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| Phone: 713.434.6310 | 281.566.2500

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