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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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.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fewer Physicians Accepting Medicaid Patients

It’s often thought that the battle of Medicaid ends after being accepted – once admitted into the program, low income families should be able to receive the health care they need. Unfortunately, in certain areas of the U.S., families aren’t being accepted by the physicians in their zone, leading some ill patients to travel further distances, or to forego not receiving the preventive care they need.

Depending on where a Medicaid beneficiary lives, it can become extremely difficult to be accepted by a primary care physician. Even in areas where there is a large concentration of physicians, some doctors aren’t willing to accept Medicaid patients because Medicaid reimburses physicians at a lower rate than Medicare and private insurance.  Access to preventive health care by Medicaid beneficiaries can be even more challenging in rural areas. 

Attempting to find out how challenging it can be to obtain an appointment in a poor area of Mississippi, researchers posed as patients (half covered under Medicaid, half covered under private insurance) and called different practices. Researchers found that 47 percent of the new Medicaid patients were accepted by the doctors, whereas about 75 percent of new patients with private insurance were accepted. These margins alone exemplify the difficulty one can face as a Medicaid patient. 

People who need Medicaid coverage tend to be sicker and to need the care of physicians most.  Without being able to receive the care they need, most Medicaid beneficiaries members put off symptoms, and ignore the obvious signs. This can lead to worsening conditions. For example, patients with diabetes who don’t get treated can go into a diabetic coma, which requires emergency care and , if receiving the appropriate care, could have been is completely preventable with appropriate medical care.

SImilarly, in the Medicaid nursing home program, Medicaid reimburses facilities at a lower rate than Medicare and private insurance.  Consequently, nursing homes limit the number of Medicaid patients they will admit, making it difficult for a patient to find a facility.  Nursing homes often have waiting lists for the limited number of Medicaid beds in the facility.  The process of finding a Medicaid facility and securing a Medicaid bed can be very stressful for the spouse or family of a patient who requires 24-hour nursing care and cannot be cared for safely at home.

The Stone Law Firm supports patients' families by helping them find quality nursing homes and available Medicaid beds.  We handle all aspects of Medicaid planning and applying for Medicaid coverage of long-term care, including in-home services.

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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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2245 Texas Drive, Suite 300, Sugar Land, TX 77479
| Phone: 713.434.6310 | 281.566.2500

Elder Care and Public Benefits | Medicare Enrollment | Nursing Home Laws and Resident Rights | Medicaid Planning | Qualified Income ("Miller") Trust | Elder Law | Durable Power of Attorney | Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts | VA Aid and Attendance Pension | Advance Directives | Medicaid Estate Recovery Program | Health Insurance | Medicare | Social Security | Disability and Special Needs Planning | Special Needs Planning | Veterans Benefits | Trusts & Estate Planning | Estate Planning with Wills


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