Florida DCF: Medicaid paying nursing home bill for wealthy

Florida DCF: Medicaid paying nursing home bill for wealthy

MIAMI — Florida welfare officials are proposing a bill that targets Medicaid fraud among patients who hide their assets with family and friends to get the taxpayer-funded program to pay for their nursing home care.

Patients are allowed to hire a relative or friend to oversee small aspects of their care, such as hair styling or room decorating. But instead of being paid monthly or yearly, some caregivers are paid up front for years of service at a time, which can decrease some patients’ assets so they in turn qualify for Medicaid.

Spouses also can sign over their patient’s financial support to the state, which allows couples with millions of dollars in assets to get Medicaid to foot the bill, Department of Children and Families spokesman Joe Follick said Friday.