Although a nursing home generally cannot require a child to be personally liable for their parent’s nursing home bill, there are circumstances in which children can end up paying. It is crucially important to read any admission agreements carefully before signing.
Federal regulations prevent a nursing home from requiring a third party to be personally liable as a condition to admission. However, children of nursing home residents frequently sign the nursing home admission agreement as the “responsible party” without fully understanding what that term means under the contract.
Typically, the responsible party is agreeing to do everything in his or her power to make sure that the resident pays the nursing home from the resident’s funds. If the resident runs out of funds, the responsible party may be required to apply for Medicaid on the resident’s behalf. If the responsible party doesn’t follow through on applying for Medicaid or provide the state with all the information needed to determine Medicaid eligibility, the nursing home may sue the responsible party for breach of contract. In a recent New York case, the court ruled that the son could be liable for breach of contract even though the admission agreement did not require the son to use his own funds to pay the nursing home. (Jewish Home Lifecare v. Ast, N.Y. Sup. Ct., New York Cty., No. 161001/14, July 17,2015). Go to: https://attorney.elderlawanswers.com/content-hub/article/when-can-an-adult-child-be-liable-for-a-parents-nursing-home-bill-16743
It is important to read the contract carefully prior to signing. If possible, consult with your attorney before signing an admission agreement.
This article is written by an attorney at Wyatt & Mirabella, PC. Always consult an attorney before making any legal decisions. To make an appointment today for a free consultation, please click here to contact us.