Is it standard practice for a nursing home to charge a fee for "incontinence care" if a patient has a bladder-control issue?

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My mother became a resident in a nursing home a little over a month ago. She has short-term memory issues, some difficulty walking, and some difficulty getting to the bathroom on time because of a "weak bladder". When we received the current charges, we found there was a $15 charge for "incontinence care", and over the course of the month it added up to $330. It seems that for the $7620 a month basic charge, this kind of care should be included. I thought that considering that this is one of the reasons a person may end up in a nursing care, it would simply be included. When my father saw the bill, he said it was a "rip-off" and I feel it is insult added to injury. What experience do others have?


In addition, a resident is expected to ask for help to get to the bathroom, as they do not like it when my mother simply goes on her own. If she has to wait for someone to help her, this increases the chances of an "accident" and to me it just seems the nursing home profits from it.


Thanks, Bob

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Top Answer
I was wondering if you could order diapers yourself and ship them to the nursing home? I have diapers shipped to my mom's home...$178.00 for 4 cases of diapers that hold 32 ounces...which is a lot! You could aske the nursing home if this is allowed.....these diapers I purchase are used strictly for night time and last a bit over 4 months. The daytime we purchase depends...and line them with Poise pads so they hold more urine in case of accidents. It might be cheaper for you to get them online....Deb
Thanks, Deb; this may be a possibility, and I'll have to ask. From what my sister has said, our mother probably procrastinates going to the bathroom until it gets too urgent. Maybe at some point we might want to tell her about the charges so she'll have an incentive to go sooner, if we can do so without making her feel unnecessarily guilty. Still, I was wondering if others face these charges from the nursing homes.
No, never heard of that before. I would check with the nursing home ombudsman in your area. Elder Services could probably direct you as where to call. That is outrageous considering the monthly rate. Should be inclusive. Hope you can get some answers. Good luck to you. Take care.
I am pretty sure that 'incontinence products' are NOT included in nursing home care. And if they charge the way hospitals do ($5-$10 EACH) it will add up fast. I order my MIL"s products via Amazon. - I hate to buy them myself. I am old enough to use them and I just don't like to buy them in person :0) But anything you can buy and have delivered or take over yourself will be a huge savings.
At the NH my mom is in, the pampers she wears every day are PAID for my medicaid. I'm in KS. I didn't even realize this until a few months ago when I put her in this NH. SHe had been in 3 others in the same city and state and ALL of them said...NO...she does not get her Depends paid for and that SHE must pay for them. THEY WERE WRONG. At least this NH knows what medicaid does pay for. I researched it later on the Medicaid site and found it to be true..so the previous NH's were either just stupid or being mean as usual. I've NEVER HEARD of a FEE for incontinence care and this is the 6th NH I've had mom in within 5 years. I'd SURE check THAT out...NOT RIGHT!!
I work at a NH in California. Diapers or 'incontinence products' are covered and paid for by medicare or medical. However, this is something I didn't know until about 6 months ago, that if a person is in a memory care unit or a assisted living, meaning no in skilled nursing, they can charge for these products as memory care
facilities are usually not paid for by medicare. so your $7600 or so may be for room and board and nothing else. Which also means they can charge for 'incontinence products' , medication, laundry etc that and anything insurance cannot. Be sure to read your contract it should have been outlined there. I used to pay for my moms only because she didn't like what the facility had to offer not because I had too. because I wanted to. Again check your addmission paperwork as you should have received a list of whats included and what you could be charged for. It is mandortory here if CALIF.
Thanks, diavalon 12. After discussion with the staff and administration, we agreed that we will provide the diapers ourselves, and they agreed that makes sense for private pay residents. That's what we started doing. We can get an entire package of them for little more than one of their individual charges!
I just moved my mom into another nursing home and the daily rate only
includes room and board. We are expected to pay $8-10 a day for
incontinence supplies! Geezz, it seems that nursing homes most certainly
have the upper hand in everything. You either agree or they won't accept
your parent.
Caregiverhelp11, depending on your Mom's physical condition, if she can be approved for Hospice then Medicare may help pay for the incontinence supplies.
Fast forward almost 4 years, and my mother is now in another state (as are the rest of us). This nursing home only charges for the package of diapers themselves without any "incontinence charges", so this seems much more reasonable. Their basic charges are more reasonable, too--"only" $6200/month. I guess this shows what competition will do--this city (Cincinnati) has many choices while the little town in central Pennsylvania didn't have other options.

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