I recently hired a home health agency to help take care of my father who has Alzheimer's. The owner of tthe agecy told me since my father is a wartime veteran he works with a guy who could get us approved in about 2 months. He said he'll pay the man's fee for us and then once application process is underway he'llstart providing services to my father. He asked me to sign an agreement that would allow him to have benefits paid to him once VA funds arrive. He dissuaded me from having my attorney fill it out saying she didn't do as many such applications as thisVA "advocate" does. My attorney said it was too good to be true but not to pay for or buy anything from the advocate.
Well the va advocate called me and told me that he preferred not to use my father's diagnosis of Alzheimer's as it would delay or not be an accepted diagnosis. He then asked for me to fill out some forms defining my father's income and assets. I thought yhis all smelled fishy at this point. I contacted the healthcare agency to voice my concerns and the agency owner asked for the "VA ADVOCATES'" doctor to come visit my father to find a diagnosis other than Alzheimer's.
At this point I was furious and saw the unethical nature of the whole arrangement. How would a "doctor" come to visit my father and in a brief visit, give my father a different diagnosis for the purpose of getting approval for VA aid and attendance? Fabricate one and then try to sell me a trust or annuity product to pay down my father's assets? I was not going to become the victim to this un kosher underhanded arrangement meant to pull the wool over my eyes!!! Beware that if a homehealth care agency tries to get your business this way, drop them like a hotcake!
Good idea to share your experiences with others. If I can offer a word of caution though, don't mention the names of the "advocate" and affiliated "colleagues" or the home care agency in print or in public. Those weasels sound aggressive enough to take action against you if they consider your comments slander, libel and/or character defamation.
If someone raises a specific agency name, you can make ugly faces; that's a nonverbal communication and the person with whom you're speaking will get the message.
You can share the facts but don't reveal names except to law enforcement, or unless you know the people to whom you're speaking won't make public statements either.
But I definitely would contact Florida police or governmental agencies so they can go after this agency. I wonder how many people they bilked out of their funds?
Oh, and if this agency was recommended by anyone, they should be aware as well, although it could be they're part of the scheme. However, if the agency was recommended by a hospital, they have a right to know of the "advocate's" actions.
I think your state attorney general might have jurisdiction. You could also contact APS and ask if they have any suggestions. AARP periodically reports about these kinds of situations but they don't have any legal authority; all they can do is make the issue known.
It wouldn't hurt to also contact the FL and Federal reps and senators to share the situation with them. They may be aware of a task force working on protecting elders from fraud. Some years ago the Senate held a hearing on fraud against seniors. Given that there's an election year approaching, some may want to get on the senior citizen bandwagon and actually help in the campaign against elder financial abuse.
The RLTV show also periodically hosts programs in which elders have been abused; they might also have programs on attempted frauds to alert elders. You could contact them as well.
I would also contact either the Area Agency on Aging or the local police to find out what governmental agency has authority over home care agencies, and report that agency with the so-called advocate.
It sounds like there's more than just the "advocate" involved in this attempted ruse. If there is in fact a "VA doctor", he's pretending to be one because to the best of my knowledge VA doctors don't make house calls.
Real doctors also don't play spin the bottle diagnosis to find one that would be more likely to be accepted by the VA.
This is what I think the REAL reason is for not wanting to use the Alzheimer's diagnosis: they wanted to restructure your father's portfolio, take fees for doing so, and likely fund assets managed by their cronies. If your father has Alz, and depending on his stage, he might not be able to legally give them permission to do so.
I'm assuming that you don't have a durable power of attorney, so your father would have to allow them to reconfigure his portfolio, and hiding that Dx would allow them to get his approval to do that. Sneaky devils they are.
It's a good thing the fishy smell became apparent and you didn't provide information on your father's financial situation, because the next step would be for an alleged financial planner to contact you about reconfiguring those assets. They might have put them into annuities, or who knows - they might have committed fraud and cleaned out your father's financial portfolio.