Recently a trial court granted a summary judgment to a nursing home resident’s agent under POA in a lawsuit filed by the nursing home for payment of the resident’s unpaid bill. The nursing home lost and ordered the nursing home pay attorney’s fees and costs to the agent.
Charles Douglas was an agent under POA for his aunt, Idella Wright. Ms. Wright entered a nursing home, and Mr. Douglas signed the admission agreement as the responsible party through POA. Mr. Douglas assigned Ms. Wright’s Social Security payments to the nursing home, but Ms. Wright died owing $18,322.
The nursing home sued Mr. Douglas for failing to timely apply for Medicaid benefits and to pay the final bill. Mr. Douglas filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that he was not personally liable. The court held that the claim Mr. Douglas was forced to defend was unreasonable.
While the authority to determine who’s responsible to pay Medicaid recovery costs is both responsible to the State and Federal governments, Kansas and Missouri both prohibit nursing homes from requiring third-party representatives from paying unpaid bills. This should reassure anyone considering or who is agent for someone else’s medical and financial decisions, that they won’t be stuck with the bill for being a good steward.
Berger Estate & Elder Law P.A. has been serving Kansas City for over 30 years providing Trusted Counsel with Proactive Solutions. Give us a call today at (913) 491-6332, visit our website berger-lawfirm.com or stop by our conveniently located offices at 11233 Nall, Suite 140 Leawood, KS 66211 for more information.