Assisted living providers in Minnesota are facing a higher level of state oversight due to “questionable” fees that have become the subject of consumer complaints.
The fees in question, which range from hundreds of dollars to thousands, have been deemed confusing, unfair or illegal by consumers, the Associated Press reports.
As a result, the Minnesota Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care is launching an investigation that goes beyond a previous state-mandated investigation that closed in March. The focus of the new scrutiny will be fees: those charged at move-in or on a pre-lease basis, among others.
“I think there are fees that are questionable,” ombudsman Deb Holtz told the AP. “We see inconsistency across the state. There’s different fees being charged in different places and they may or may not be called the same thing. So that’s confusing for consumers.”
The AP cites several cases where consumers ultimately complained about the fees, including one example of a $5,675 fee paid to an assisted living organization in order to secure a room for an incoming resident and cover the first month’s rent. The prospective resident passed away before the agreed-upon move-in, yet according to the family, the community kept a non-refundable $2,000 portion of the fee.
Holtz specified charges such as those in the non-refundable case would be investigated.
Read the Associated Press report via San Francisco Chronicle.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker