Archive for the ‘OBRA’ Category

OBRA SPECIAL NEEDS POOLED TRUSTS and IL State Senate Bill 2840

August 9, 2012

We at ProbateSharks continue to have concerns about OBRA Special Needs Pooled Trusts. OBRA Trusts were created to allow people who have special needs to qualify for Medicaid by depositing their money into these trusts. The intention of these trusts was to preserve estates of disabled people by allowing them to qualify for public aid nursing homes while preserving their estate for their special needs.

Unfortunately, these trusts are being abused by certain guardians in Cook County. Elderly disabled people with large estates are being targeted for guardianships through unscrupulous methods including: Illegal removal of Powers of Attorney, deceit of the elderly by owners of guardianship companies, and inaccurate medical reports being submitted into court records to make the elderly appear to be disabled with dementia. Once the rich elderly disabled person becomes a ward of the court, the unscrupulous guardians place the wards’ estates into OBRA trusts, place the ward into for-profit Medicaid-funded nursing homes, and then deplete the estate through guardian fees, care management fees, and attorneys fees.

In other words, OBRA Trusts are being used by some to financially exploit the elderly disabled while profits are obtained for the guardians, attorneys, case managers, and for-profit nursing home owners. This is being done at the expense of the wards, and the taxpayers in the state of Illinois.

In June of this year, Governor Quinn signed Senate bill 2840, which became Public Act 97-0689.It is called the Save Medicaid Access and Resources Together (SMART) Act. Its impact is anything but friendly to Illinois seniors, especiallly those who are wards of the 18th floor of the Daley Center.

Unlike the January 1st rules changes, which were driven by federal laws, these new rules changes are almost entirely due to the well-known Illinois budget problems. The new law cuts $1.6 billion from the Medicaid budget, primarily by modifying eligibility requirements and benefits.

The biggest change made by SMART is the elimination of Pooled Payback trusts (also called OBRA d(4)(c) special needs trusts) in Medicaid planning for those over the age of 65, UNLESS THEY ARE WARDS OF THE STATE OR PUBLIC GUARDIAN!!!

Full Article and Source:
OBRA SPECIAL NEEDS POOLED TRUSTS and IL State Senate Bill 2840

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Suing Nursing Homes

May 1, 2012

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA), the first major version of the Federal standards for nursing home care since the 1965 creation of both Medicare and Medicaid (MediCal in California). Care facilities wanting Medicare and Medicaid funding were to provide services so that each nursing home patient could attain and maintain the highest physical, mental and psycho-social wellbeing. However, 25 years later, poor care and neglect are still too common an occurrence in the approximately 16,000 nursing homes in the United States.

Why is this poor care and abuse still occurring? There are many reasons why and at the top of the list is the fact that state agencies responsible for overseeing nursing home care often fail to make sure problems in the facilities are corrected.

Anyone of us who may have the unfortunate task of placing a loved one in a nursing home needs to know that the probability of poor care and neglect is alive and well in these facilities. Be vigilant: Go often to see the patient (under the federal law, there are no visiting hours for family members); go often at any time day or night; ask questions; check their bodies to ensure there are no bedsores forming; make sure they are getting sufficient liquids to prevent dehydration; listen to what the patient is telling you and don’t let the facility staff dismiss the patient’s complaints.

Since it appears to be “business as usual” in nursing homes and with the lack of oversight by the regulators perhaps it’s time to close down all nursing homes and start all over again with a different plan. Perhaps the billions of dollars the government gives to nursing homes should be given to each of us who wish to remain in our homes and be cared for by people of our choice.

Full Article and Source:
Suing Nursing Homes

Probate Sharks Editorial

March 20, 2012

Re: NEW NURSING HOME TAX TO BENEFIT FOR-PROFIT MEDICAID HOMES, AND HURT NON-PROFIT HOMES WITH FEWER MEDICAID BEDS

A recent law was passed which will tax private pay nursing home beds and divert the money to Medicaid beds. This new law will allow the owners of for-profit nursing homes with Medicaid beds to profit even more than they do currently. While the Health Care Council of IL claims to lose $27.00/day on Medicaid beds, the homes with the most Medicaid beds are operating at a profit.

Private-pay residents at NON-profit nursing homes will incur a tax to go to the owners of FOR-profit Medicaid beds.

We can’t help but wonder if those for-profit nursing homes that will receive the new tax are the same nursing homes that are favored by the Cook County Probate Court. See our articles in the index on the right about OBRA Special Needs Pooled Trusts to read how these trusts are used to deplete the estates of the wards with attorneys’ fees and guardians’ fees while the wards are placed into FOR-Profit Medicaid nursing homes.

Something does not seem right here.

Source:
New Nursing Home Tax to Benefit For-Profit Medicaid Homes and Hurt Non-Profit Homes With Fewer Medicaid Beds

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ProbateSharks.com: Our mission is to expose and remedy corruption in the Probate Court of Cook County, Illinois. We assist, educate and enlighten families of the dead, the dying, the disabled and the aged to better understand their rights in order to protect themselves from the excesses of the Probate Court of Cook County. ProbateSharks.com is dedicated to networking the human element of people to people. We join together in reforming the corrupt Cook County Probate Court system.

Probate Sharks – OBRA Special Needs Pooled Trusts: Permissable Distributions and Federal Regulations

September 23, 2011

Many of our readers have asked us for more information about OBRA trusts. OBRA trusts were originally created for disabled people with long-term needs, so they could move into public aid facilities and have funds left for their special needs. An appropriate situation would be for a disabled child who received a malpractice award meant to cover long-term needs. In order to prevent the child’s funds from being quickly drained by nursing home costs, OBRAs were created to allow the disabled child to be placed into a public aid facility, and have their estate available throughout their life for those things not provided by public aid. Once the OBRA is created though, private pay facilities are no longer an option for the child, in accordance with OBRA laws.

In the Cook County Probate Courts, these OBRA trusts are being abused. The elderly disabled are having their substantial estates (their hard-earned life-long savings) placed into OBRAs. Wards who lived at home or in beautiful private pay facilities prior to their guardianships have their funds placed into OBRAs (despite having enough funds to enjoy their private pay facilities for the rest of their lives), and are moved to less desirable public aid facilities (at the cost of the taxpayer). The wards’ estates are then VERY quickly depleted by the guardians, GALs, and attorneys.

Although the OBRA laws were created for the purpose of providing for a high quality life for the ward while on public aid, this is not occurring. Over 65% of the Public Guardian’s elderly wards’ estates are placed into OBRA accounts, and these substantial estates are rapidly depleted by the guardians and attorneys, with the approval of certain judges, rather than being spent on the wards special needs.

[See ProbateSharks.com for] a comprehensive list of what is allowed by law to be paid from OBRA trusts, FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WARD; also included are our comments to show what is actually occurring to wards on the 18th floor of the Daley center. These examples are substantiated with public court records. Case numbers will be provided to investigators upon request.

This abuse must be exposed for what it is: Financial exploitation of the elderly disabled and medicaid fraud and abuse on the part of some of the judges, guardians, GALs, and attorneys in the Cook County Probate Courts.

Signed,
Your ProbateSharks Team of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Whistleblowers

Source:
ProbateSharks.com

See Also:
Probate Sharks: Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Rampant in Cook County Probate Court

Probate Sharks: Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Rampant in Cook County Probate Court

August 23, 2011

Many of our readers have requested additional information about OBRA Special Needs Pooled Trusts.

In Cook County, many wards’ estates, valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, are placed into OBRA Supplemental Needs Pooled Trusts.

Supposedly, this is being done for the benefit of the ward as it allows the ward to qualify for Medicaid, thus saving the funds for the special needs of the ward.

However, in reality, the ones benefitting from these trusts are the attorneys and guardians. Once a ward’s estate is placed into the trust, they can no longer (by law) reside in private pay nursing homes, and are thus moved into public aid facilities.

And, instead of using the funds placed into the OBRA for the special needs of the wards that aren’t being met in the public aid nursing homes, the funds are being used primarily to pay attorneys and legal fees until the estate is depleted.

Full Article and Source:

ProbateSharks