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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    3

    Default Hospital or Hospice Care Without Health Insurance

    My question involves a person located in the state of: Alabama

    my mother has been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. she is very far along and needs help immediately. she is in the hospital and doesnt have insurance. one doctor told us she is to far along and the other doctor that works with him came back in the room and told us that she isnt being helped because she doesnt have insurance and that they could over look any other problems she has had. I called another hospital and they told me they would see her and would help her but my older brother and grandmother have signed her up for hospice. My mothers husband hasnt even signed off on it yet and i was just wanting to know what i can do? Please help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,371

    Default Re: Elder Law

    Is your mother competent? If she is (and has not vested a power of attorney for such matters in someone), the family doesn't need to sign off on anything. She is the one who makes her decisions. How old is she? Is she eligible for programs such as medicaid/medicare? Sometimes you get a bit faster or better placement if you agree to be financially responsible. That's up to you individually and as a family to decide.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Elder Law

    she has filed for medicare about a month ago and hasnt heard back yet. she is only 55. she is competent to an extent, the hospital is just giving her so much pain medication that she stays asleep most of the day. when she does wake up the family wont let her make her own decisions they just say that she is lethargic and she doesnt know what she is saying. she asked me last night was there anywhere else she could go while she was awake. Also i just found out that someone in the family, while i was gone to eat, signed my name to put her in hospice. I did not agree to that. I am the youngest of her 2 sons.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,371

    Default Re: Elder Law

    Again, the "family" doesn't get a say. If she is not ruled incompetent or hasn't otherwise delegated the matter, it is for her to decide or not. Absent a POA, you'd have to go to court to get guardianship to take control.

    Again, there's too much imprecision in your discussion. Everybody in the family doesn't have to "sign" to put people in hospices. Perhaps they signed you up to share in the financial responsibility?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Elder Law

    Having been in a similar situation....

    As long as she is mentally competent....the family has no say at all.

    All she has to do is pass a basic Psych Eval, and it's her choice. By basic psych eval....
    - Do you know your name?
    - Do you know your date of birth?
    - Do you know what today's date is?
    - Who is the current president?

    Worst case scenario is to ask the State you live in to take legal custody of her (usually through your DHS office). Know you will have no say about her care, and you will lose any rights to her property and belongings.

    Also know if you choose to take care of her, get yourself in to see an Elder Law Attorney asap. There are various laws to follow. If she is not able to be left alone, someone has to be with her at all times. Banking - should she need a new stove and you use your credit card, the check needs to be written to the credit card company, not to you. There are a lot of little things that can get you arrested.....

    For Medicare/Medicaid (I always get the two confused)....the one will want her financials for a 5 year period. That agency will also want you to put her home up for sale asap as well (atleast that is what they did with us).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    RTR/WDE
    Posts
    1,717

    Default Re: Elder Law

    Medicare: Federal Med. Insurance for the Retired/Disabled.
    Medicaid: Federally Mandated State Welfare Medical Coverage. Alabama is broke; very few adults are served by Medicaid in Alabama; very few physicians accept it in Alabama.
    Don't make me quote Monty Python at you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Elder Law

    Thanks for all the responses they have been very helpful. A couple of hours ago she was transferred to hospice. Me, her youngest son, and her husband were totally against it. We wanted her moved to another hospital to get healthcare to live. My older brother and grandparents said they were ready to get this over with and it is time for her to die. I know they forged my name on the DNR paper. Just still trying to fight this dont know what I can do legally. She is now mentally incompetent according to the hospital.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Elder Law

    Did she have Advance Directives stating if she wants life-saving measures or no? Anyone for Power of Attorney?

    The most you can do at this point is see an Elder Law Attorney and discuss options such as POA and gaining guardianship.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: Hospital or Hospice Care Without Health Insurance

    It sounds like you have an issue with letting go. If she has a terminal condition and is mentally incompetent all you are keeping her alive for is your own motives.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Midwest Frozen Tundra
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: Elder Law

    Quote Quoting jb41
    View Post
    Thanks for all the responses they have been very helpful. A couple of hours ago she was transferred to hospice. Me, her youngest son, and her husband were totally against it. We wanted her moved to another hospital to get healthcare to live. My older brother and grandparents said they were ready to get this over with and it is time for her to die. I know they forged my name on the DNR paper. Just still trying to fight this dont know what I can do legally. She is now mentally incompetent according to the hospital.
    What has the doctor told you about her prognosis? Liver disease can cause a type of encephalopathy (hepatic encephalopathy) which has symptoms that may wax and wane, depending on how much detoxifying goes on at the hospital.

    As for hospice, if your mother is disabled and on Medicare, hospice is covered 100% for her diagnosis and medications related to her comfort. If she needs a special bed, hospice provides it. Her medications related to her diagnosis will be covered.

    Hospice is not a place to die. Hospice provides comfort and relief of pain and suffering in terminally ill patients. Her doctor must certify that she has six months or left to live if the disease were to proceed on its normal course.

    As others have said, you can get POA papers under the whatever laws Alabama uses to define a guardian. It is well worth your time to discuss your situation with an elder law attorney.

    I too lost my mother when she was 55. I understand your feelings and shock. It was too early for me to lose my mother. My sympathy for what you are going through now.

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