Actual correspondence

Well, I went off the deep end today. After I received the phone call mentioned in the previous post, I e-mailed the business manager in response (I couldn’t stomach talking on the phone). In that note, I told her I would not call the Medicaid case worker’s supervisor because I considered it an aggressive move that I wasn’t comfortable making. I also mentioned that I had asked another staffer to use Mom’s assisted living credit to pay for her patient liability – essentially, all of her monthly income (state retirement and Social Security) minus $40 that Medicaid allows people to keep for “incidentals.” I told her I had never heard if that had been done. And that after that liability was covered, the facility still owed Mom $655 from the credit. When the business manager responded to my e-mail with a polite thank you, she also said she’d check on Mom’s credit and what happened with that.

About an hour later, I got this e-mail:


Unfortunately we are unable to apply the credit amount from Bonnie’s Assisted Living account to her Care Center account. Damages to the carpeting in her apartment exceeded normal wear and tear; therefore the credit on the account will be applied to the cost of replacing the carpet.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you

D. K.
Business Office Coordinator

Noah the administrator was copied on this note to me. So I replied to all, glad that he was copied, my cheeks burning red hot:

Dear D.,
I do have questions. Is it really going to cost $1,664 to carpet two rooms and a closet in an institutional apartment? And why am I finding this out now, more than four weeks after I was sent a statement indicating Mom had a $1,664.00 credit (I have it right here with me), including return of her security deposit AND her pet deposit? And since she put down $1,250 in deposits, is it really appropriate of your facility to claim the remaining $414 of that credit? Aren’t deposits intended to cover such “above wear and tear” damage? Are you just claiming the rest because it’s there?

She moved out on Aug. 12 from that apartment, and from Whetstone on Aug. 28. To be told on this date, Oct. 5, about an outstanding charge for damaged carpet strikes me as completely unacceptable. I am really curious about record-keeping there. I also got a voice mail from B in accounts receivable that I owed for Mom’s SEPTEMBER patient liability, when she moved out on Aug. 28.

At any rate, I don’t expect you to change your mind. But I will say that being given this information on this date makes it impossible for me to pay Mom’s August patient liability immediately or in a lump sum, as I have spent her money down as required by the Medicaid process. I was acting on the expectation that the credit statement I received from your facility was authentic and that it actually indicated that [your facility] owed my mother money after her liability for 15 days in the care center (before I was told she would have to leave) was covered by that credit.

I am afraid I might be taking out on you, D, frustration that I have felt with the way I (and more important, my mother) have been treated by [your facility] since Mom became a Medicaid applicant. She spent $80,000, her life savings, over 22 months [in assisted living] and had a fantastic experience there. I can’t say the same about the experience with the facility since Aug. 12. Perhaps that is unfair of me, to link Medicaid with how things have gone since Mom left [assisted living], but it is hard not to jump to that conclusion.


A girl can only take so much.


6 comments so far

  1. BillG on

    A totally reasonable response from you. My mother’s transition to Medicaid wasn’t *quite* as painful, but it sure had its moments.

  2. momsbrain on

    Hello, BillG, and welcome. Maybe TOO reasonable… 🙂 I am so mad at these people. Thankfully, she is now in a facility that – crossing my fingers – is not like this at all.

  3. Elizabeth on

    A more than reasonable response, given the run-around they’ve put you and Bonnie through. That is unbelievable – it seems like either their record keeping is a complete disaster or they’ve got some greedy, no-good scoundrels in their administration. (Or maybe a combination of both, but a milder version of each?) Anyway, I’m sorry to hear this continuing and hope it gets cleared up quickly. Ugh.

  4. Jenny on

    I’m sorry you’re still having a rough time with them, Em. Perfect response, in my mind. Hooray for better places.

  5. momsbrain on

    Thanks, Elizabeth and Jenny! I am pretty sure greed is at the heart of this. Money has been their ONLY concern since Mom’s money ran out. They will get their money from Medicaid. They apparently don’t like to wait for it.

  6. plettahar on

    I will be interested to see what kind of response you get from this email. I agree that you were more than reasonable while also being articulate and honest.

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