Medicaid can pursue patients' willed property

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled last week that the state's Medicaid program can go after the willed property of deceased patients who received long-term or nursing home care, reported the Associated Press.

The Volunteer State's High Court reversed the ruling of a lower court that the TennCare program could not seek the home of Ardell Hamilton Trigg, who had willed the home to relatives, the article noted.  The court's vote was unanimous on the matter, reported the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Trigg had received care from the TennCare program between 2002 and 2006, when she died, according to the AP.

The Tennessee Medicaid program filed a $22,000 claim against her estate. However, previous court rulings had barred the program from attaching the house as an asset, the Commercial Appeal noted.

TennCare customarily files claims against the estates of deceased enrollees, according to the AP, but could not override their estates if assets had been willed.

The ruling comes as more and more providers file claims against the estates of deceased patients in order to recoup costs.

To learn more:
- read the AP article
- here's the Commercial Appeal article