May 21, 2012

Pennsylvania law requires son to pay mother's $93k nursing home bill

Carolyn Rosenblatt, Forbes- John Pittas’ mother entered a nursing home for rehabilitation following a car crash. After she left the nursing home, she moved out of the country.  His mother’s $93,000 bill at the home was left unpaid.  The mom had applied for Medicaid, which would  normally pay the bill if she couldn’t.

The mom’s Medicaid application did not get approved in enough time to satisfy the nursing home, and it sued her son for the bill.  The state of Pennsylvania, like 29 others in our country, has something called a “filial responsibility law”.  Those laws require that spouses, children and even parents of needy adults support the indigent.  These laws were rarely ever enforced.  The nursing home  decided to enforce it rather than have Medicaid do what it was designed to do.

The trial court found for the nursing home.  Mr. Pittas appealed. He argued  that the court should have considered  Medicaid or going after his mother’s husband and her two other adult children.  Astonishingly, the appeals court not only agreed that the nursing home didn’t have to wait until the Medicaid claim was resolved, it also found that the nursing home could choose any family member it wanted to when seeking payment for the bill.

States with filial responsibility laws are: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.


Anonymous said...

What if the son were only six years old?


It's an appropriate hyperthetical?
However, Mr Pittas was not an only child. It is likely that the Rehab Center went after the syblling more likely the have some assets that can be liquided to provide the R.C. some recompence. It would seem unlikely that a judge would make a ruling that the R.C. could arbitrarily and capriciously or for a dicriminatorily vengefully malicious purpose select Mr. Pittas.
Most assuredly filial responsibility laws were not advocated and lobbied by hoi polloi unless the demos of dim, dull,AND deluded were propagandized by the plutocratS and oligarchs into believing that such laws were to prevent "socialism". (Which, incidently the dolts wouldn't recognize if written out with simplistic specifity on paper,
jammed into their "nether regions" and set aflame.