LTC Bullet: What Should Be Done About Medicaid Profiteers?

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Seattle--

LTC Comment: An entrepreneurial attorney, CPA and NAELA member has a trademarked "Medicaid Practice System" that "will show you how to establish your new Medicaid Practice profit center" and "generate $100,000+ in new revenue in the next six months." How can anyone compete against that? More after the ***news.***

*** Shall we bring the "Long-Term Care Graduate Seminar" to the Southland? Steve Moses will be in the vicinity in mid-February 2004. If you'd like to attend the program anywhere between Houston and Atlanta around that time, let Amy McDougall know at 425-377-9500 or mailto:amy@centerltc.org . She'll schedule the seminar if a dozen or more people register. For details on the Center's highly acclaimed LTC Graduate Seminar, please go to http://www.centerltc.com/ltc_grad_seminar.htm . Attend for free, if you can provide a conference room and a few other essentials. Amy will do the rest. ***

*** What takes Steve south in February? He'll be attending and presenting two programs at the Society of Actuaries' Fourth Annual Intercompany LTCI Conference coming up February 8-11, 2004 in Houston, Texas. You can find complete information on this excellent conference at http://www.soa.org/conted/ltci04/ltci.html . Not sure this is the industry meeting for you? If you're a Center donor with access to The Zone, just click here to find our "Virtual Visit" to the last SOA-LTCI conference which was held in Las Vegas, January 26-29, 2003. http://www.centerltc.org/members/Virtual_Visits/vegas.htm Our virtual visits to major industry conferences are designed to give you a feel for what the meeting is like, including summaries of sessions, interviews with attendees, photographs of prominent participants, and details about cost and venue. If you haven't Zoned In yet, learn how in the section below titled "LATEST DONOR-ONLY ZONE CONTENT." (Misplaced your user name and password? Just drop a note to mailto:damon@centerltc.org or call him at 206-283-7036 for a quick reminder.) ***

*** We have an easy new way to subscribe to LTC Bullets. Encourage your colleagues to fill out the simple online subscription form at http://www.centerltc.org/bullets/subscribe_to_bullets.htm . Subscriptions are free to everyone for the first three months. ***

*** LATEST DONOR-ONLY ZONE CONTENT: Here's the latest Zone content followed by instructions on how to subscribe so you can receive these critical epistles daily by email.

LTC E-Alert #3-062--Your Federal Tax Dollars at Work (in NY) (Medicaid is a gravy train for the affluent in New York and your federal tax dollars pay half the cost.)

The LTC Data Update #3-031--GE Puzzled by Survey Showing Lack of LTCI Buyers (We explain the seemingly anomalous findings of the GE study.)

Don't miss our "virtual visits" to major LTC industry conferences in The Zone. You'll find our comparison of the conferences, session summaries, interviews and pictures at http://www.centerltc.com/members/index.htm .

Individual donors of $150 or more and corporate donors to the Center for Long-Term Care Financing receive our daily email LTC Bullets, LTC E-Alerts, LTC Readers, and LTC Data Updates for a full year. You'll also get access to the donor-only zone where these publications are archived along with other donor-only features. If you already qualify for The Zone, you can click the following link, enter your user name and password, and go directly to the latest donor zone content and archives: http://www.centerltc.com/members/index.htm . If you do not already qualify for The Zone, mail your tax-deductible contribution of $150 or more to the Center for Long-Term Care Financing, 2212 Queen Anne Avenue North, #110, Seattle, WA 98109. Then email mailto:damon@centerltc.org your preferred user name and password (up to 10 characters each). You can also contribute online by credit card or direct withdrawal at http://www.centerltc.com/support/index.htm . ***

LTC BULLET: WHAT SHOULD BE DONE ABOUT MEDICAID PROFITEERS?

LTC Comment: Thank goodness the Medicaid program has plenty of money so taxpayers, public officials, long-term care providers and poor people will never miss the skim taken off the top by Medicaid planners. Not! Consider what you are up against if you are on the responsible side of long-term care service delivery and financing. Here's the latest story in the long sad saga of Medicaid estate planning.

David J. Zumpano is a New Hartford, New York attorney and CPA. He belongs to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) according to its "consumer registry" at http://www.naela.org/Applications/ConsumerDirectory/index.cfm .

Mr. Zumpano offers a six-day training program costing $5,995 for which he claims: "On average, program participants' confidence to do Medicaid planning increased 2-1/2 times, and their knowledge of Medicaid planning increased. As a result, over the course of the program their average fee nearly tripled, their average monthly income increased 555% and their average quarterly income increased 792%." Source: http://www.medicaidpractice.com/docs/brochure.pdf

He maintains that "The Medicaid Practice Program(tm) is a meticulous, results-oriented approach to building success in your entire estate planning practice . . . and in your personal life as well. We will teach you the strategies that helped me triple my revenue and double my free time in less than a year." Source: http://www.medicaidpractice.com/docs/brochure.pdf

"Look at what creating one of each plan type can do for your practice! . . . Total Revenue Potential if Attorney Implements All Strategies Taught One Time. $32,500 -$35,000." Source: http://www.medicaidpractice.com/about/ The strategies taught include a "Medicaid Spend Down Plan" with an average fee of $2,500, a "Basic Medicaid Trust Plan" for $5,500, an "Advanced Medicaid Plan" for $8,500, "Medicaid Qualification" for $3,500, an "Opinion Letter" for $2,500 to $5,000, and an "Alternative Medicaid Plan" for $10,000.

Here are some quotes from the Medicaid Practice System's promotional flyer at http://www.medicaidpractice.com/docs/brochure.pdf :

"We show you how the changing Medicaid Planning landscape can create substantial opportunity for your practice now and in the future."

"I shared how I was receiving fees of $5,000 to $10,000 regularly for Medicaid planning (when I would struggle to get half that amount with typical estate planning clients), and the clients were thanking me enthusiastically and referring their friends."

"The fees paid by Medicaid planning clients often exceed what typical estate planning clients pay, and they are much happier clients. How am I able to do this? Because of the way the Program is structured."

Here are a few things Mr. Zumpano claims you'll learn if you attend this training program including how to do Medicaid planning for "millionaires" and how to "influence" state Medicaid workers:

"Learn how the MPS Business Model(tm) supports a successful Medicaid practice and lifestyle."

"Increase your confidence and learn how to become the leading Medicaid planning authority in your community."

"Understand how the use of unique Medicaid planning trusts, spenddown strategies and counseling issues lead to protecting more assets and qualifying your clients quickly."

"Learn how to work with and influence your local Medicaid Department to get the answers you need."

"Learn how to conduct a Medicaid workshop for prospective clients, or potential referral sources, in order to generate interest in your Medicaid services."

"Learn about other planning strategies, such as Supplemental Needs Trusts, Pooled Income Trusts and special planning for the home.

"Continue applying key Medicaid rules and principles to more advanced scenarios, including MEDICAID PLANNING FOR MILLIONAIRES." (Emphasis added.)

"Learn how to do strategic planning using Medicaid annuities to build your Medicaid practice.

"Learn how to utilize non-attorney personnel to do Medicaid qualification in your office and generate significant revenue."

Source: http://www.medicaidpractice.com/docs/brochure.pdf

Finally, here are some testimonials on the Medicaid Practice System(tm) from the same flyer:

"John Peck of Jacksonville, North Carolina [NAELA member], and Bill Johnson of Toledo, Ohio, each generated $100,000 in new Medicaid revenue within nine months of beginning the program."

Daniel P. Stuenzi, Chief Operating Officer of the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys http://www.netplanning.com/ says "Our members rave about your program. This new Medicaid niche is already making a difference in their practices and their lives. Congratulations."

David Sutton, and Estate Planning Attorney in Denver, CO said: "Since beginning the program, my Medicaid planning revenues have grown to almost 40% of my total practice, and it's getting larger every day. MPSTM gave me the confidence to succeed, both for my business and for my clients. It also provided me with valuable contacts that have supported my practice and improved my effectiveness in numerous ways. It has paid for itself many times over."

LTC Comment: Why would anyone struggle to sell long-term care insurance, administer Medicaid, provide LTC services, or represent citizens in state legislatures for a relative pittance when qualifying people for welfare-financed long-term care is so lucrative? Isn't it time for the insurance industry, the LTC provider industry, Medicaid administrators and legislators to join forces to do something about this problem? Why does the Center for Long-Term Care Financing stand alone in this fight? Let your trade associations know you want something done to stop this kind of "Medicaid planning" and encourage responsible long-term care planning.

In case you'd like to express an opinion about the Medicaid Practice System to Mr. Zumpano, his contact information, drawn from his website, is 800-481-5290 or mailto:contact@medicaidpractice.com .