The Elder Firm, LLC - Nathan J. Forck, Attorney

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Missouri Estate Recovery Claim Fails

A Missouri court of appeals rules that in a state's claim for recovery of Medicaid benefits against an estate, computerized records showing checks were issued to the Medicaid recipient's health care providers is insufficient evidence that payment was made to the providers, so the claim must fail. Estate of Nelson v. Missouri Dept. of Social Services (Mo. Ct. App., W. Div., No. WD73957, March 20, 2012).
When Katherine Nelson died, the state filed a claim against her estate for reimbursement of Medicaid benefits paid on her behalf. As proof of the claim, the state provided computer records of expenditures made for Ms. Nelson's care.
The trial court denied the claim, ruling that the state did not present evidence that checks it issued to Ms. Nelson's health care providers were in fact presented and paid. The state appealed, arguing that it need only provide proof that a check was sent.
The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western Division, affirms, holding that the state's evidence is insufficient because it does not establish that the checks it issued in payment of Ms. Nelson's health care services were either presented or honored. According to the court, computerized records providing the date a check was issued are not sufficient evidence of payment.
For the full text of this decision in PDF, go to: