I am my mother's financial POA. My mom is on Medicaid and Medicare, with the allotted $2,000 in her bank account. I just received a bill from an ambulance company for $700.00. Do I have to pay this bill out of the money she is allowed to keep (money for her funeral expenses.) If I don't have to take the money out of her account, am I legally responsible to pay this bill? I believe this bill is for transport TO the hospital only, and anticipate another $700.00 bill for transport back to the nursing home. I agreed to the nursing home sending her to the hospital under the belief that the hospital could help mom. As it was, they couldn't and sent her back to the nursing home. What are my options? Thank you for your help!

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"Ambulance" service can fall into a whole grey area for Medicare to pay as it can be viewed as a non-essential medical fee and not covered by Medicare (or Medicaid for that matter). This happened with my mom @ her old NH (it was $ 600.00) as she went to ER from the NH as she had a TIA but was not admitted to the hospital but just @ hospital for less than 3 days under "observation" (this seems to be what triggers the denial by Medicare) then returned to the NH via the same ambulance service.

You personally are not responsible for paying the bill as long as you did not sign off on any paperwork to do so. Whether you pay the bill from mom's funds all depends on the situation and whether you want to as her DPOA and how you want to pay for it (like send them $ 25.00 a month written from mom's checking account or via a money order so that is never is from your personal checking account).

When you have the next care plan meeting @ the NH for your mom, I would suggest that you have a letter from you as her DPOA & MPOA placed into her file that she is NOT to have an ER or Hospital transfer. That the NH is to provide for her care and her needs. It is a NH and should be providing skilled nursing services, that is what a NH does. It could be that this NH just "sends & dumps" residents to the ER that require just a little bit too much work. This was the situation for my mom's NH # 1 and I got her moved out of there to another NH within the year she was there & once she cleared Medicaid approval and NH billing issues. I would look carefully to see if this is the pattern of care for this NH and if so look for another NH. If they are on Medicaid, moving them is pretty easy as the state Medicaid program mandates that it can be done and without any penalty. There is another poster on this site who had the very same issue with their parents NH in doing the "send & dump" and on a regular basis by the NH. Both of us are dealing with TX NH too. NH that do this are usually less than ideal, if you feel this is what is happening with your parents NH, I'd start looking for another facility. Good luck.
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It sounds like they did not have the insurance information for her. Call them up and give them the correct billing info. You are not personally responsible UNLESS you signed an agreement to pay. Generally, Medicare and Medicaid may refuse to pay this if she was not admitted to the hospital. You would then pay it out of her funds, not out of your pocket.
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