On June 26, 2013, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania amended the Probate, Estates, and Fiduciaries Code to allow nursing facilities to disperse up to $10,000 from a resident trust account after the resident's death in certain circumstances. If the deceased resident was a recipient of Medical Assistance benefits, the facility may disperse up to $10,000 from the resident trust account to a licensed funeral director to contribute to burial expenses, regardless of whether a personal representative has been appointed. If the decedent's burial expenses total less than $10,000, then the facility may pay the remaining funds to the decedent's family members, not to exceed $10,000. Preference is given to family members in the following order: spouse, child, parent, then sibling. Previously, facilities could only disperse up to $3,500 from a patient's care account to a licensed funeral director and could not exceed a total of $4,000 after paying the remainder to family members. If a facility makes such a payment, it will be released to the same extent as if the payment had been made to the decedent's personal representative.
If you have any questions regarding provider payment issues, including Medical Assistance eligibility, collection and reimbursement matters, please do not hesitate to contact Steven M. Montresor.