The healthcare industry in the United States is one of the most expensive in the world. When we look picture nursing homes, they're often projected as safe places to ensure 24-hour care for relatives in their time of need.
Traditionally, federal and private insurance would cover the cost of treatment to ease the burden of debt that is often associated with medical bills. But, for one county in upstate New York, those families with loved ones who end up with leftover care costs will have to endure an experience that they will never forget.
According to court records, Monroe County, which includes Rochester has filed nearly 250 lawsuits against families whose loved ones received services at one of their 24 licensed nursing care facilities. The damages ranged from a few thousand dollars to more than $100,000 dollars per case to the tune of $7.6 million altogether.
One facility sued an elderly patient's daughter and granddaughter over her $6,000 debt. While another went after a resident's residents friend claiming that she had been hiding her assets in an attempt to collect $11,000 in expenses.
These cases are just a fraction of the extent that the facilities would go to in order to collect payments, Oftentimes, they identified the patients friends or estranged relatives who had no recent connection to get the monies they felt they were owed.
Although the practice may seem egregious it's perfectly legal as most of the admissions agreements come with a standard clause that allows the nursing homes to pursue collections against the signer if it can't be collected from the residents themselves.