Healthcare is a business. Let me repeat healthcare is a business. Even non-profit entities have a bottom line that allows the business to continue performing services. Healthcare is especially tricky to navigate because the system involves private pay, insurance reimbursements and government reimbursements. What people fail to realize is that when a health care entity is reimbursed through insurance or a government program the reimbursements are lower than what they receive from a private pay patient. So it should be no surprise to you that most healthcare entities prefer a patient to private pay. This leads to the uncomfortable realization of who do I trust for advice when my loved one is faced with a healthcare crisis? Who has their best interest in mind? Who can we trust?
Professionals at Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Rehab Centers are responsible for caring for the physical and mental health wellbeing of their patients; however, these professional are not focused on the patient, or their families’, financial situation or the ramifications of the cost of care. Simply they are treating your illness not advising on how to afford it.
Of course, no one wants to think of this reality when interacting with healthcare facility employees, but you would be surprised how often families take financial advice for paying for long term care from a facility’s employees. Perhaps the reason for this trust is based on desperation or urgency. The problem with this is that healthcare professionals are not responsible for fully understanding the laws that govern Medicare and Medicaid nor the best way to navigate these systems so that a family does not impoverish them. On the other hand, all elder law attorneys specialize on long term care financial planning. When an elder law attorney is retained, their interest is protecting your interests and no one else.
So before you start taking advice from professionals from a healthcare facility, ask yourself, “Is this what they are in the business of doing?” Take healthcare advice from healthcare professionals and take long term care financial advice from an elder law attorney.