Nursing home care is extremely expensive these days, and you certainly want to know exactly what you are getting into before you sign a contract with a nursing home either for yourself or on behalf of someone else.
If you make assumptions and sign on the dotted line without having a complete understanding of what your responsibilities are you could find yourself in a difficult situation later on.
This is something that a Connecticut woman found out about firsthand not too long ago.
A court case was decided back in 2011 (Cook Willow Health Center v. Judy Andrien) that involved a nursing home attempting to seek satisfaction for an outstanding balance. The woman in question, Judy Andrien, had signed an agreement when she was admitting her mother to Cook Willow Health Center.
The agreement required her to take particular steps to either gain Medicaid eligibility for her mother as a way to pay the bills or to do what was necessary to make sure the bills were paid out of her mother’s own store of financial resources.
When they went unpaid the nursing home initiated legal action.
The defense pointed out a law that precludes nursing homes from requiring a third-party payment guarantee before taking on a new patient.
However, in the opinion of the court the agreement that was entered into was totally voluntary. The nursing home did not require Ms. Andrien to personally guarantee payment before they would admit her mother.
There are certainly some shades of gray that exist within the contractual arena. The wise course of action is to consult with an experienced elder law attorney before signing a nursing home agreement..