Here is the scenario:
1. Elderly father was in intensive care and rehabilitation facilities for 10 months
2. He is the guarantor for his medical bills and is named on both medicare and supplemental health insurance
3. He was never deemed unable to speak for himself or make his own decisions
4. Elderly mother (spouse) holds power of attorney
5. Liquidated all assets with Elderly father's name as part of medicaid eligibility process
6. Two weeks prior to filing with Medicare but after all assets were liquidated (placed in medicaid approved annuity with Elderly mother's name), father passes away.
7. Nearly 12 months later separate phone calls from the hospital to me, and to my sister were received requesting payment of ~$162,000 due to the hospital
8. Sister (not power of attorney for either) contacts the hospital and receives billing and treatment information pertaining to Elderly Father.
9. Me (power of attorney for Elderly mother) and sister review all insurance
and hospital statements received, before and after, Elderly father's death. Within the hospital statements are charges for a variety of patients of the hospital reflecting father as the guarantor. Charges range from ER visits, physical therapy, and cardiac care.
10. Document found where mother signed letter authorizing usage of last available medicare eligible days. Date of letter was post father's last stay.
11. Sister continues to communicate with hospital. Statements are sent from the hospital, with father as guarantor, but with sister's address.
I could go on. The questions are:
1. What is the liability of the outstanding medical bills to mother?
2. Is there a legal breach on the hospital's part for providing patient information to non-authorized individuals?