Potential clients sometimes ask William Gatesman whether they can pursue their legal matters themselves. Often, the advice in response to such an inquiry is that the client would obtain a more favorable outcome using the services of a knowledgeable lawyer. A key component of that advice is that the lawyer should be knowledgeable.
Unfortunately for the general public, when it comes to applying for Medicaid benefits, there is a limited pool of lawyers in Maryland who can be viewed as being truly knowledgeable about all of the nuances in the Medicaid eligibility rules.
This should not be the case. Maryland law, and in particular, the Maryland Administrative Procedures Act, mandates that the rules governing such matters as the Maryland Medicaid program be promulgated and implemented through a transparent public process. Through that process, such rules are to be disclosed and maintained in a manner to make them easily accessible to the public.
Unfortunately, with respect to the Maryland Medicaid program, some of the rules are complex, hidden, and accessible by only a few who know where and when to look for them. One of the problems arises because Medicaid is a joint Federal and State program. Notwithstanding that, the rules as they apply in Maryland (Medicaid rules vary state by state) should be put in place in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, however, the Maryland Administrative Procedures Act routinely is disregarded. Indeed, a senior Medicaid official recently advised William Gatesman that there is an administrative freeze by the Maryland Governor that prohibits any action toward implementing new regulations.
So, then, how do Medicaid lawyers in Maryland know what are the rules that apply to their clients? Sadly, sometimes the answer to that question is that some of those lawyers don’t know. Continue reading “The Secret World of Medicaid Regulation”