Senators Schumer and Brown Introduce Bill to Eliminate “Observation” Loophole to Care in Nursing Home

senior-observationMany seniors do not realize that they can be sent to a hospital emergency room and kept their overnight or even for several days, and never be classified as admitted to the hospital. Even though the senior was in the hospital, he or she is classified as an “outpatient” for Medicare billing services. This is because the patient is in “observation” status. This is the period of time that the doctor is evaluating whether or not to actually admit the patient to the hospital. Why is this so important?

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Improvement Standard Struck Down

Stethoscope-and-GavelFor over a dozen years, patients have been denied Medicare coverage because of the “improvement standard.” This was the illegal denial of coverage because a patient’s condition was stable, not improving, chronic and requiring only maintenance services. Jimmo v. Sebelius, No. 11-cv-17 (D.Vt.), filed January 18, 2011, was a lawsuit brought on behalf of six individual Medicare recipients and seven organizations representing persons with chronic conditions, to challenge this standard.

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Veteran’s Aid and Attendance

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Looking for a extra funds to help pay for caregiving services in your home, in an assisted living facility or in a nursing home? Are you a veteran, spouse of a veteran or widow of a veteran that served during a time of war? If so, you may qualify for an under-utilized and much misunderstood benefit in which the Veteran’s Administration will pay you as much as nearly $2,000 per month. This benefit is sometimes referred to Veteran’s Aid and Attendance, Improved Pension or Enhanced Pension. A similar, but slightly different benefit is known as a Housebound Pension. The funds provided by these benefit program for veterans are often the difference between being able to afford to keep a frail elder at home and having to transfer them to a skilled nursing facility.

Our law firm has put together an information booklet, Veteran’s Aid and Attendance: A Nuts and Bolts Guide, which explains the types of services paid for by this program as well as the service and financial qualifications you must meet in order to qualify for this valuable benefit. To receive a free copy of our Nuts and Bolts Guide, click here, or if you prefer, call our office at 951-787-7711 and ask us to send you a copy of the Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Nuts and Bolts Guide. You can also schedule a complimentary telephone call or personal meeting with one of our attorneys to see if you might qualify for this valuable benefit, and if you don’t, what planning techniques might be available to help you qualify.

Dennis Sandoval is one of very few attorneys in the Inland Empire who is accredited to represent veterans and their spouses before the Veteran’s Administration.

Mr. Sandoval Featured in Two Recent Newspaper Articles on Elder Abuse

Comments from Dennis were featured in two recent newspaper articles on the rise of elder financial abuse. In the Wall Street Journal article, Elder-Abuse Cases on the Rise, Dennis describes two recent elder abuse cases that he handled, one involving a granddaughter who managed to convince her grandmother to transfer title to her house to her and the other case, in which a son, acting as trustee, took $600,000 from an account in his mother’s trust. Mr. Sandoval was also featured in a Riverside Press Enterprise article, More and More Seniors Are Being Ripped Off. Dennis describes a recent case he handled for a couple in the Temecula area, where a daughter of a friend managed to convince the couple to transfer title to their home to the friend’s daughter. These types of elder abuse cases are on the rise. Dennis M. Sandoval, A Professional Law Corporation, specializes in this type of elder abuse litigation. Contact our law firm for more information about possible remedies should you know an elder who has been financially abused by a friend, relative, neighbor or caregiver of the elder.

Law Firm Sponsors Fourth Annual Inland Empire Caregiver’s Symposium

We are proud to announce that we are once again sponsoring the Inland Empire Caregiver’s Symposium. This will be the fourth annual event that we have sponsored. The Inland Empire Caregiver’s Symposium has been touted by its attendees and the best educational event for health care professionals that work with the frail elderly and the disabled. The seminar provides seven hours of CE education for registered nurses, licensed clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, RCFE administrators and nursing home administrators. The Symposium will be held March 29, 2009 at The Victoria Club, located at 2521 Arroyo Drive, Riverside, California 92506. To obtain a registration form or to learn more about the symposium agenda, click here.

Karen Griffith Named to Steering Committee and Educational Committee of The Inland Empire Palliative Care Coalition

Karen Griffith, our law firm’s Geriatric Care Coordinator, has been named to the steering committee of The Inland Empire Palliative Care Coalition. Karen also serves on its Education Committee. The Inland Empire Palliative Care Coalition is a membership organization of doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospice care and other health care professionals who are interested in improving end-of-life care. Dennis M. Sandoval, A Professional Law Corporation is the only law firm that is a member of the IEPCC.

Dennis Joins Special Needs Alliance

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Dennis is proud to announce that he has been invited to join the prestigious Special Needs Alliance, an exclusive organization of attorneys that specialize in planning for special needs persons. Through his affiliation with the Special Needs Alliance, Dennis will have the collective wisdom and planning experience of some of the top special needs planning attorneys in the United States available to him and his special needs clients. Dennis is one of only six Special Needs Alliance members in California. The Special Needs Alliance has slightly over one hundred members nationwide. For more information on special needs estate planning, visit our website atwww.cal-special-needs-attorney.com. You can get additional information about the Special Needs Alliance by visitingwww.specialneedsalliance.com. If you know of a special needs support group that would like to have Dennis give them a presentation on Special Needs Estate Planning, please contact our office. In the past year, Dennis has made informative and entertaining presentations to various Inland Empire and Orange County support groups dealing with individuals with Down Syndrome, Autism, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Schlerosis, and ALS.

Dennis is Named to NAELA Board of Directors

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The membership of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys has voted to confirm the nomination of Dennis to the Board of Directors of NAELA. The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is the premier membership organization for attorneys specializing in elder law. For more information on NAELA, visit its website atwww.naela.org. Dennis will serve on the Board of Directors from 2008 through 2010.

Dennis is Contributing Author of Special Needs Trust Treatise

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The California Education of the Bar recently announced the publication of its two-volume treatise entitled Special Needs Trusts: Planning, Drafting and Administration. Dennis is the author of the chapter on Taxation of Special Needs Trusts.

Dennis is Named to NELF Board of Directors

Dennis has been named to the Board of Directors of the National Elder Law Foundation. The National Elder Law Foundation is the non-profit organization that administers the Certified Elder Law Attorney or CELA designation. To learn more about NELF, click here.

Dennis M. Sandoval, A Professional Law Corporation, of Riverside, California, provides representation throughout Riverside, Corona, Norco, Moreno Valley, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Mira Loma, Redlands, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Chino, Chino Hills, San Bernardino, Fontana, Rialto, Colton, Perris, Hemet, Sun City, Temecula, Murrieta, Menifee, Winchester, San Jacinto, Lake Elsinore, Idyllwild, Lake Arrowhead, Crestline, Running Springs, Wrightwood, Yucaipa, Palm Springs and Palm Desert.

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