Facilities for Elderly Investigated by New Jersey State Public Advocate

When elderly individuals go into a long term care facility or assisted living facility and self pay, the cost can be astronomical.  Making sure that the person is comfortable, well cared for, in a clean environment and positive atmosphere is not a low budget issue.  What happens, though, when a private pay individual converts to Medicaid?

Well, one would think that because all of the payments are now guaranteed, albeit possibly lower, that these facilities that have been raking in money from these individuals and their families, that they would leave grandma, grandpa or aunt Minnie in comfort and without worry without changing a thing.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.  In fact, there is an investigation taking place in New Jersey regarding the company Assisted Living Concepts, owner of eight assisted living homes in southern New Jersey.  The investigation was started by the Public Advocate for the state, who has filed papers against the company because of their alleged practice of discharging the elderly when they change from self pay to Medicaid.  

Public Advocate Ronald K. Chen is asking for the names, admission and discharge summaries, as well as contact information for every resident of the company who is or has been a Medicaid beneficiary. 

Chen says that the investigation was sparked because there is an indication that this company “is placing elderly vulnerable residents at risk by displacing them from their homes in violation of ALC’s state license.  Our primary concern is to protect the safety well being and peace of mind of these residents.”

The representative of Assisted Living Concepts, Laurie Bebo, who is also the CEO of the company, refuses to cooperate with the subpoena and states that the company does not have any Medicaid conditions in their license; therefore, they do not have to honor Medicaid patients.

Chen says that state licenses for all eight facilities stipulate that at least 30% of the residents of each of the facilities are to be Medicaid eligible and no resident would be discharged because or if they spent all their money.

Assisted Living Concepts operates more than 200 assisted living residences in 17 sates, containing more than 8,000 units, so this is no small issue.  New Jersey may just be the tip of the iceberg.

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