Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Scam for Mom: The TRUTH behind A Place For Mom

Families facing placement for their loved ones deal with unimaginable challenges. Will the facility care for my parent like I would want them to? Are there any issues with abuse or neglect in this facility? Is the facility equipped to deal with my loved one's special needs? These and many other questions make the task of choosing placement for a loved one a grueling but necessary one. A Place For Mom claims on its website to provide a FREE referral service complete with an assessment and "eldercare specialists" to tailor your options to meet your needs.


There are a few things this service does not tell you about.

A. The service is not "free." Any facility listed with A Place For Mom must agree to pay the sum of One Month's Cost of Care (the amount the family pays for care of their loved one) for each referral placement. It doesn't matter how much the cost of care is, nor is A Place For Mom concerned with how your loved one's care is financed for that month as long as they receive their "fee."
According to the Terms of Service for A Place For Mom:
Our Senior Care Partners
Any care provider that offers housing and/or supportive services to elderly and/or disabled individuals of the nature referenced on this Site (including Alzheimer's care facilities, assisted living facilities, home care facilities, nursing home facilities, residential care facilities, retirement facilities, adult day care facilities, senior apartment facilities or hospice facilities), is eligible to be included on our website provided that such provider (1) represents to us that they are licensed, and will at all times remain licensed, by the state in which they operate (unless their state doesn’t require licensure), and (2) has entered into an agreement with us and paid a fee, or agreed to pay a fee in the future in certain circumstances, for being included in our product and services offerings. 


B. A Place For Mom has no stipulations on the quality of care received by the facility. According to the Terms of Service for A Place For Mom:
Our Senior Care Partners Any care provider that offers housing and/or supportive services to elderly and/or disabled individuals of the nature referenced on this Site (including Alzheimer's care facilities, assisted living facilities, home care facilities, nursing home facilities, residential care facilities, retirement facilities, adult day care facilities, senior apartment facilities or hospice facilities), is eligible to be included on our website provided that such provider (1) represents to us that they are licensed, and will at all times remain licensed, by the state in which they operate (unless their state doesn’t require licensure), and (2) has entered into an agreement with us and paid a fee, or agreed to pay a fee in the future in certain circumstances, for being included in our product and services offerings. We impose no requirements on our partner providers as to the manner in which they deliver services to residents. Each provider included in our service has agreed to charge our clients in the same way they charge other clients for the same care level.

C. The "Services" they provide are not that of a "Professional."

Our Services We help families evaluate the type of care needed by an elderly person including an assessment of issues such as care requirements, desired price level, and amenity preferences. Once we understand the individual's needs and preferences, we help to identify the senior care providers in our participant group that could potentially meet those needs and preferences. The names of those providers are shared with the individual and/or family member. We also forward the individual's name and pertinent information to the provider(s) along with a request that the provider contact such individual.
 No Professional Advice
The information contained in this Site may include content that relates to medical, legal, financial or other professional matters. It is provided for informational, educational and discussion purposes only and should not be used, interpreted, or relied upon as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment; legal; financial or professional advice; or advice regarding which service providers you should use. You should consult with a medical doctor, attorney, financial or other professional if you need assistance with matters that fall into their area of expertise.

 D. Once you and your family or you and your facility have signed up with A Place For Mom, they can charge the facility if you place your family member there, even if your referral and decision was from another source.

Scenario: You have signed up with A Place For Mom. You receive an email from A Place For Mom for a potential placement for your father. The facility referred does not have any openings at this time, so you look elsewhere placing your father in an alternate facility. A year or two goes by, and you hear from your neighbor that your proposed facility now has an opening. You contact the facility, your father is placed. Because of the initial email, your chosen facility is charged $4000 (the cost of the first month of care)for an email referral that did not result in placement at the time,  OVER 2 YEARS OLD!! According to an account representative from A Place For Mom, there is no time limit, so if this scenario happens, it can happen in 10 years as easily as 2 years.

*By the way, the scenario is based on a true story.*

The moral to this story? Be careful when considering "Free Referral Service" for your loved ones. You AND your loved ones will get what you pay for.

Terms of Service for A Place For Mom can be found at http://www.aplaceformom.com/terms-of-use/

1 comment:

  1. Um... every placement/referral agency is like this. Every one. The fees, the rules...everything. The 2-years scenario above is VERY rare, but it does happen. And BECAUSE it does happen, that's why referral agencies have stipulations like this. It is still a business.

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