You're receiving this newsletter as a member of the MSBA Elder Law Section.

No longer interested? Unsubscribe. Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your browser.
Click here to view a printable PDF of this week's e-newsletter.

MSBA Section Banner

E-Newsletter of March 12, 2013 | Vol. 6, No. 10

Header

 

[Editor’s Note: Please take note that the “Getting to Know Elder Law” CLE has been changed from March 14 to March 28- same time, same place. See “Upcoming Events and CLE Programs” below for more details.]

 

THOUGHTS FROM THE CHAIR

Last month, Time Magazine ran a cover story by Steven Brill titled “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills are Killing Us.”  Reportedly, the article is the longest ever published by Time in a single issue – a claim this reader can believe given how long it took me to get through it.  It is nonetheless well worth the effort.

What first caught my eye is Brill’s statement that, when we as Americans debate health care policy, “we seem to jump right to the issue of who should pay the bills, blowing past what should be the first question:  Why exactly are the bills so high?”  As we prepare for another round of likely cuts in funding health care for our most vulnerable citizens, it’s time we all began asking the latter.

The article sets out one case study after another demonstrating the catastrophic impact on individuals and families caused by the cost of care.  Admittedly, those of us practicing in elder law see this all the time when a client receives long-term care of any kind.  The difference with the cases cited by Brill is that they aren’t dealing with long-term care, but more routine situations.  For example, Brill reports on the case of Susan S., a 64 year-old (one year away from qualifying for Medicare) who went to the hospital for chest pains, and was discharged home three hours later.  Compare the cost to Susan because she was not yet eligible for Medicare to the cost of someone on Medicare:

 

Without Medicare

With Medicare

Troponin Blood Test

$199.50

$13.94

Complete Blood Count

$157.61

$11.02

Stress Test

$7,997.54

$550.00

Brill’s reporting on the way that hospitals set pricing is particularly startling, as is the fact that the United States pays more for health care than the next 10 biggest spenders combined!  Does the $60 billion price tag for cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy shock you?  Did you know that we spend almost that much every week on health care? 
Another startling statistic – pharmaceutical and health-related industries spend roughly four times as much lobbying in Washington than the defense and aerospace industries, or the oil and gas industries.  The economics of the health care system are clearly out of whack, although I knew that from the years my husband spent working for a large managed health care plan, and seeing the CEO of that company on the highest-paid executives list year after year.  As elder law attorneys, and as health care consumers, we have to start paying attention to this complex monolith that could sink our national economy.  Although most of you won’t have an opportunity to read the full article in one sitting, you should consider downloading and saving a copy for future reference.   The full article can be found here.

Submitted by Laura Zdychnec
Section Chair
lzdychnec@mnelderlaw.com

 


Elder Law News

Header

Why Immigration Reform Is a Big Senior Issue | US News

Strong Jobs Report Boosts Older Workers | AARP

Kidnapping My Parents | Huffington Post

How to Develop Effective End-of-Life Plans | US News

How to Pay For Nursing Home Costs | US News

How to Use Expanded Free Senior Health Services | US News

People who need help with Medicare costs | DHS

Submitted by Joel Smith, Esq.
joel@koslawfirm.com




Elder Law Cases

Header
There are no new cases to report this week.


Elder Law Statutes, Regulations, and Bulletins

Header
There are no new statutes, regulations or bulletins to report this week. 


Upcoming Events and CLE Programs

Header
"Getting to Know Elder Law"
Are you new to the practice of law? Are you interested in Elder Law? Do you want to learn more? Join the Student Committee of the MSBA's Elder Law Section for light appetizers and drinks while you network with local elder law attorneys followed by a panel discussion.
Topics for the panel discussion include:
- Guardianship and Conservatorship;
- Medical Assistance Basics;
- Care Placement; and
- Marketing, Knowing Your Limits and Other Newbie Frustrations.

Details:
Date:   Thursday, March 28, 2013
Time:    5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Location:   Ramada Inn Bloomington (formerly "The Thunderbird")
2300 E. American Blvd.
Bloomington, MN

For more information, click here.

Submitted by Jill Sauber
saub8913@stthomas.edu

 

This summer, Hamline Law is offering Elder Law both for law school credit and for CLE.  It will be taught by former Elder Section chair Suzy Scheller, and runs from June 14-17. To view the schedule and course description, click here.

Submitted by Thaddeus Pope, J.D., Ph.D.
tpope01@hamline.edu

 

Elder Law Section Activities

Header

MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. The Medical Assistance Committee is a study group to analyze Elder Law Section member questions and case studies and to discuss administrative policies and procedures in relation to Medical Assistance in Minnesota.  Cathryn D. Reher of Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A., is Committee Chair.  For directions, or to attend by phone, please contact Tracie Fenske with Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A., at 952-929-0622 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Topics for the meeting may be submitted to tfenske@mnelderlaw.com under the subject heading “MA Committee Topic”, or faxed to 952-542-9201. Please be reminded that the meeting location is: Estate & Elder Law Services (formerly MAO Legal Services), Monroe Village, 1900 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418. The meeting takes place in the building’s conference room. There are a few parking spaces behind the building and lots of street parking. People should walk to the back of the building and come to the back door which faces directly into the meeting room.

 
GOVERNING COUNCIL: 
 The next meeting of the Elder Law Section Governing Council will be on Friday, April 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm. Please be reminded that the meeting location is: Estate & Elder Law Services (formerly MAO Legal Services), Monroe Village, 1900 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418. The meeting takes place in the building’s conference room. There are a few parking spaces behind the building and lots of street parking. People should walk to the back of the building and come to the back door which faces directly into the meeting room. For further information, please contact Laura Zdychnec, Chair, at: lzdychnec@mnelderlaw.com.

 

Elder Law Website

Header

DON'T FORGET THAT THE ELDER LAW WEBSITE IS A GREAT RESOURCE. Here’s what you can find on the Website:  Links to the DHS Health Care Programs Manual, the DHS Bulletin on treatment of uncompensated transfers, the Minnesota Bankers Association Compliance Bulletin on Powers of Attorney, legislative summary; Practice Links to organizations such as NAELA, ABA Commission on Law and Aging, Links to Federal and State Government Agencies, Statutes, and Regulations; Meeting Notices, Listings of Officers and Council Members, Section Bylaws, and more.

 

Go to the Section Website Header