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Can a Power Of Attorney be sued for mother's nursing home bill?

Ashtabula, OH |

I am Power of Attorney for my mother, she was in nursing home facility for month January '09, she had to go back past month for a week to get proper medications (she has since left the facility now). I received a letter from law office stating my mother and I were being sued bc there was a balance of $1400 January '09 stay. I did sign a paper, but the past 6 years being difficult taking care of her, most likely signed under duress or I was told 'sign this so we can bill medicare'. Medicare was billed, they were paid, she does not have secondary insurance to cover $1400. Can I be sued as well as my mother? And also in the paper work submitted to the court and to myself with the court order it has a strangers name throughout the paperwork, w/ this incorrect info can this thrown out? Thank u

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Attorney answers 1


The nursing home cannot force you to sign a statement of financial responsibility. Usually, they get family members to sign a statement stating they will be financially responsible. If that happens, they can likely go after you. However, if that does not occur, the debt is that of the patient herself and you would not be personally liable. As an aside, you should have obtained an elder law attorney to complete the medical assistance application process for you. You would have to pay some legal fees, however the fee can be paid out of the income/assets of the nursing home individual, which is money that would have to be paid to the nursing home anyway. Medical Assistance would have paid the coinsurance amount that was not paid by medicare. As the patient, your mother could possibly be found financially liable for unpaid bills.

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