Florida Estate Planning and Probate Law Blog focused on recent case law and planning ideas.

FLORIDA GUARDIAN DENIED FEE FROM MEDICAID RECIPIENT'S ASSETS

On November 25, 2015, the Second District Court of Appeals, in the case of Lutheran Services Florida, Inc. v. Department of Children and Families (Fl. Ct. App., 2nd Dist., No. 2D13-5840, Nov. 25, 2015) held that the guardian of a Medicaid recipient may not deduct a guardianship fee from the recipient's income because the fee is not medically necessary. The case originated from a court order which authorized a professional guardian to deduct a monthly sum from an indigent and incapacitated individuals income and patient responsibility amount. The professional guardian then petitioned the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to deduct the monthly guardianship fee on their behalf, which they denied to do. DCF took the position that the fee could not be deducted from a Medicaid recipient's income because it is not "medically necessary" under state law. A hearing officer upheld the determination, noting that state law defines medically necessary as services provided in accordance with generally accepted standards of medical practice and reviewed by a physician. The 2nd DCA affirmed the decision on appeal.