Erin Arvedlund of Phillynews.com recently wrote an article alerting consumers about health care providers and “bed hold” charges. We believe that many persons are unaware as to what a “bed hold” charge is and can potentially incur significant unexpected charges.
What is a “bed hold” charge? An example would be when a resident at an assisted-living facility has a mishap and is transferred to a hospital for medical treatment. The assisted-living facility can charge its residents for a full month even if they leave for short- or long-term stays at a hospital or other care facility. Andrea Murphy, long-term care ombudsman supervisor for Montgomery County Aging and Adult Services in Norristown, was quoted as saying “Think of them as you would a hotel: If you leave all your stuff, you’re going to get billed for those days.” Some facilities ask the family “Do you want to pay the bed hold rate?” However, not all facilities do so.
Ms. Murphy recommended that those considering placing a family member in any care facility consult with an elder-law attorney. The news article quoted Mark Davis, an elder-law attorney, that “Unlike personal-care homes and even nursing homes, where the resident is paying for a ‘bed’ more so than a ‘living unit,’ assisted living is more like an apartment lease arrangement. So the assumption is unless either the residence or the consumer initiates discharge while the person is in the hospital, it’s understood that you keep paying and they can’t rent your room to anyone else.”
Another cautionary note: If you sign an agreement to pay for a parent or another person, are you personally liable to cover the bills?
The article also quotes geriatric-care manager Melissa Coopersmith, who says before admitting a family member to an elder-care facility, ask about:
- What are the annual charges to live there? Is there a community fee, covering activities for the month? What have annual increases been for the last three to five years? If your loved one goes to the hospital, or on vacation, what charges will result, since they will not be using the community services? If this is not the appropriate community for the patient’s condition, are there fees to leave?
- Dementia care. What type of staffing is in the dementia unit, and how does the dementia unit differ from the assisted-living area? What are the support services (assistance with eating, incontinence, wandering, dressing, transferring from bed to chair)? When or how are patients considered for the dementia unit if they are in assisted living? What are those costs?
- Departure decisions. When does the facility determine it can no longer care for patients? If they can no longer walk? Complete activities of daily living? If the community asks a patient to leave or feels it can no longer care for a patient, what are the fees involved and what is the process?
If you want to discuss your business or personal tax planning, tax preparation and other financial concerns with an experienced tax professional, including how to adopt an age-weighted profit-sharing plan, we invite you to call 610-594-2601 today to make an appointment at our Exton PA CPA office to discuss your situation. You can also schedule a consultation at Click Here.