HMO was trying to get control of elderly mother's estate


New Member
We had a bad experience with an HMO in the Sacramento California area. We had hired full-time-live-in experienced caretakers and a housekeeper for my elderly mother-in-law who wanted to remain in her nice little home.

She was in an HMO with a large local Medical System, and was being seen at least twice monthly for various health problems. The Medical System HMO personnel kept phoning and insisting on sending a doctor and social worker to inspect her home and living conditions, even though she was regularly being seen by her doctors, and was obviously being well cared for.

After declining these visits, we were informed if we did not comply, the social worker could refer us to adult protective services. We found out from a relative who worked for the medical system that when the HMO felt an elderly patient was utilizing too many resources, they would schedule these home visits to assess what assets the patient might have.

They would then have the social worker arrange to seize assets, sell the home, put the person in an assisted living facility, and set up a conservator to administer the assets to pay medical and assisted living expenses. That was how they cut down the costs to the HMO for the elderly patient's care. We reluctantly allowed the home visit.

The doctor and social worker went as far as rummaging through all the closets, cabinets, dresser drawers and the refrigerator. They also looked into the backgrounds of the caretakers. When they could find nothing else to complain about, they told us the throw rugs in the house (there was 1 throw rug in each of 2 bathrooms) were dangerous as my mother-in-law could fall on them.

We removed the throw rugs, but decided it was time to get a lawyer involved, as the intrusion was overwhelming. The lawyer put a stop to further home visits. The whole incident left us with very negative feelings about the underlying motives for home visits by HMO's.

It occurred to us that not everyone can afford a lawyer, and the HMO probably got away with displacing and seizing the assets of a lot of older people -- especially if they didn't have involved family and the means to get legal assistance.

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jerry old

redneck, but brainy
That is insane!
as you say, those without relatives, ability to obtain legal advise, what happens to these people?