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E-Newsletter of March 20, 2012 | Vol. 4, No. 62


Item of Interest



The 2012 Elder Law Institute, which will take place on October 11-12, 2012, at the Minnesota CLE Center in Minneapolis. 

-  What issues do you want to see covered?
-  Are you interested in presenting?
-  Have a suggestion for speakers?

If you have ideas or suggestions, please call or send an e-mail to Laura Zdychnec, 2012 Elder Law Institute Chair at 929-952-0622 or


There are a few openings still available on the 2012 ELI Planning Committee. PLEASE NOTE CHANGES: Based on feedback from the Committee Chairs of the past few years and Minnesota CLE, the ELI Planning Committee will operate a little differently this year.  The intention is not to limit participation, but to assure that the Planning Committee is a manageable size (ideally 10-12 people at most).  Planning Committee participation will carry with it a responsibility to participate in all meetings, work to develop the theme, and to identify and enlist speakers for one or more sessions.  If more people express an interest and willingness to serve than indicated, we may not be able to accommodate everyone.  (But remember, you do not need to be on the Planning Committee to submit ideas, or to be a speaker.)

The Planning Committee will meet at 11:30 a.m. on May 2nd, May 23rd, and June 20th at the Minnesota CLE offices in St. Paul.  If you are interested in serving on the Planning Committee, please call or send an e-mail to Laura Zdychnec, 2012 Elder Law Institute Chair at 929-952-0622 or

Submitted by Laura Zdychnec


Link of the Week


Attorneys and courts may use the legislative history of the federal Medicaid statute as persuasive authority in attempts to determine Congressional intent and to clarify ambiguous statutory language.  This website can help you better understand the law and its changes over the years so you can better advocate for your clients' interests. To visit the website, click here.

Submitted by Brenna Galvin

New Guide Explains the Medicaid Appeals Process (Released Thursday, March 15, 2012)
A new guide from the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured provides a comprehensive look at the appeals process for the Medicaid program, which differs significantly from those available through the Medicare program and private health insurance.  The Medicaid appeals process provides redress for individual applicants and beneficiaries seeking eligibility for the program or coverage of prescribed services, but the process is multi-layered and can be complex to navigate. This background brief describes Medicaid's appeals system, including the fair hearing process and the appeals process required for Medicaid managed care organizations. As coverage expands under health reform and efforts proceed to integrate services for dual eligibles,  who are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid, protections through the appeals process will be increasingly important. The guide is available online here.

Submitted by Kim Dayton, Esq.

Elder Law News


Caught in 'grandparent scam': Woman warns others |

IRS Warns Senior Citizens about Tax Scam | WSAV TV

New pharmacy focuses on long-term care | St. Cloud TIMES

AARP asks younger folks to look at their future | Star Tribune

Submitted by Joel Smith, Esq.

Elder Law Cases

Minnesota Court of Appeals
Joane M. Christianson, petitioner, Respondent, vs. Travis Henke, Respondent; Claire Holewa, Appellant.
                        Benton County District Court, Hon. James W. Hoolihan.

Court's syllabus:
            A recognition of parentage executed under Minn. Stat. § 257.75 (2010), constitutes a proceeding for parentage for purposes of petitioning for grandparent visitation rights under Minn. Stat. § 257C.08, subd. 2(a) (2010).
            Affirmed.  Judge Larry B. Stauber, Jr.

Submitted by Paulette Joyer, Esq.


Elder Law Statutes, Regulations, and Bulletins

There are no statutes, regulations or bulletins to report this week.


Upcoming Events and CLE Programs

Mark your calendars!  April 16 is NHDD
The Elder Law and Estate Planning Society and the Center for Elder Justice and Policy at William Mitchell will again host an all day public event on April 16 to facilicate end-of-life health care planning.  

From 9 am to 5 pm Monday, April 16, students and volunteer attorneys will provide free assistance to anyone who wants to complete an advance health care directive, which legally documents a person’s health care wishes so family and physicians will know exactly what medical procedures should or should not take place if the person is unable to communicate.

It takes less than an hour to complete the form, which may include preferences about special end-of-life treatments and pain management, directions about funeral arrangements and organ donation, and more.

The event is part of the fifth annual National Healthcare Decisions Day, in which health care providers, attorneys, and others will participate in a national effort to highlight the importance of advance health care decision-making. National Healthcare Decisions Day at William Mitchell is sponsored by the Elder Law and Estate Planning Society and the Center for Elder Justice and Policy at William Mitchell College of Law.
Submitted by Andrea Palumbo, Esq.


What: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
When: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 from 8:00am – 5:00pm
Where: William Mitchell College of Law
Auditorium and Classrooms for Breakout Sessions
875 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105
Cost: FREE!

Submitted by Suzy Scheller, Esq.
Elder Law Section Chair


The Hamline University School of Law Health Law Institute will be offering ELDER LAW in a compact format from June 16 to 21.  The course qualifies for 2 law school credits or 24 CLE credits.  To learn more, click here. 

The Health Law Institute is also offering four other courses in the same format in the same time-frame:

Health Reform: A New Age of Regulatory Enforcement (1cr)
Health Reform: Insurance Plans, Exchanges, and Mandates (1cr)
(Un)Healthy Choices: Tobacco, Obesity, and Beyond (2cr)
Health Care Compliance Summer Institute (3cr)

Submitted by Thaddeus Pope, J.D., Ph.D.
Director, Health Law Institute
Associate Professor of Law
Hamline University School of Law

Elder Law Section Activities


MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, 2011. The Medical Assistance Committee is a study group to analyze Elder Law Section member questions and case studies and to discuss administrative policies and procedures in relation to Medical Assistance in Minnesota.  Cathryn D. Reher of Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A., is Committee Chair.  For directions, or to attend by phone, please contact Tracie Fenske with Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A., at 952-929-0622 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Topics for the meeting may be submitted to under the subject heading “MA Committee Topic”, or faxed to 952-542-9201. Please be reminded that the meeting location is: Estate & Elder Law Services (formerly MAO Legal Services), Monroe Village, 1900 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418. The meeting takes place in the building’s conference room. There are a few parking spaces behind the building and lots of street parking. People should walk to the back of the building and come to the back door which faces directly into the meeting room.

GOVERNING COUNCIL:  The next meeting of the Elder Law Section Governing Council will be on Friday, April 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm at the offices of the Volunteers of America (VOA) at 1900 Central Avenue NE, Suite 106, Minneapolis, MN 55418.For further information, please contact Suzy Scheller, Chair, at:


Elder Law Website


DON'T FORGET THAT THE ELDER LAW WEBSITE IS A GREAT RESOURCE. Here’s what you can find on the Website:  Links to the DHS Health Care Programs Manual, the DHS Bulletin on treatment of uncompensated transfers, the Minnesota Bankers Association Compliance Bulletin on Powers of Attorney, legislative summary; Practice Links to organizations such as NAELA, ABA Commission on Law and Aging, Links to Federal and State Government Agencies, Statutes, and Regulations; Meeting Notices, Listings of Officers and Council Members, Section Bylaws, and more.


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