Cona Elder Law


Who’s Who in Healthcare Law – Jennifer Cona

July 2017

Long Island Business News

Jennifer B. Cona is managing partner at Cona Elder Law, LLP (Cona Elder Law), an elder law firm in Melville. Cona founded the firm's Health Care Reimbursement and Re­covery Department, which current­ly represents more than 150 skilled nursing facilities on Long Island and throughout New York State, mak­ing Cona Elder Law one of the preeminent law firms in this practice area.

Cona's practice focuses on both health care facility representation, in­cluding complex Medicaid eligibility matters, Guardianships, Fair Hear­ings, and civil litigation, as well as representing seniors and their loved ones with the preservation of assets, Medicaid planning, estate planning, wealth transfer strategies, adminis­tration of estates, estate litigation, contested Guardianships and special needs planning. Under Cona's guid­ance, the firm works to secure and ensure a payment source for long term health care, working together with both families and health care facilities to sustain quality care for older adults. 

Cona and her team set the stan­dard in health care facility represen­tation and are responsible for numer­ous court and fair hearing decisions, which have changed the Medicaid and Guardianship landscape, leading to increased reimbursement rates for the firm's health care facility clients. Working on behalf of families, Cona's work includes locating appropriate care, coordinating public and private resources to finance the cost and working to ensure the client's right to quality care. 

Cona has successfully argued a number of cases against healthcare budget cuts affecting the elderly, win­ning fair hearings and keeping bene­fits in place for the elderly. 

Cona is currently focused on the conflict between the Guardianship statutes and the Family Health Care Decisions Act, which she said has led to inconsistent decisions in the New York Courts regarding end-of-life care for incapacitated adults residing in nursing homes and hospitals. 

"Every individual of sound mind and adult years has a right to deter­mine what should be done with his or her own body," Cona said. "This right to accept or reject medical treatment has long been recognized for compe­tent adults. However, for individuals who lack capacity, the imposition of unwanted medical treatment is still an issue for patients who reside in hospitals or nursing homes due to an apparent conflict between the limita­tions placed on the powers of a Guard­ian in some court jurisdictions ver­sus the standards set forth under the Family Health Care Decisions Act (FHCDA)." 

"Historically, decisions to withdraw life-sustaining treatment made by court-appointed Guardians have been held to a 'clear and convincing' stan­dard," she noted. "However, this stan­dard is at odds with the 'best interests' standards and the legal and medical framework set forth in the FHCDA." 

"As evidenced by the enactment of statutes such as the Family Health Care Decisions Act and the Guard­ianship statutes, the New York legis­lature has taken extensive measures to ensure that individuals' wishes are appropriately carried out when they are no longer able to make decisions on their own behalf," Cona said. "To ensure that incapacitated individuals are extended the protections that the legislature recognized were necessary, we are advocating for this issue to be properly addressed in the courts. How­ever, corrective legislative action may well be necessary."

Cona and her team regularly pro­vide in-service seminars for health care facilities as well as continuing education programs for health care administrators. Cona is rated a Super Lawyer by The New York Times. She was named in the inaugural class of the New York Law Journal's 2016 Top Women in Law, as well as the inau­gural class of Hofstra's Outstanding Women in Law. Cona was also rated a Top 10 Legal Eagle on Long Island; Cona is vice chair of the board of trustees of the Long Island Alzhei­mer's Foundation and serves on- the board of the United Way of Long Is­land. She is the founder and chair of the Advanced Elder Law Focus Group, an industry,think-tank. Cona is a New York State Certified Guardian, Court Evaluator and Counsel to incapaci­tated persons and is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs for the preparation, presentation and prose­cution of claims for Veterans benefits. 

Cona earned a juris doctor degree, with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law. She earned a bachelor's degree, cum laude and with high honors, from William Smith College.

Genser· Dubow Genser & Cona, LLP (Cona Elder Law) is recognized as a lead­ing elder law firm on Long Island. Cona Elder Law offers expertise in health care facility reimbursement and recovery, elder law, estate planning and liti­gation. Health car_e facilities turn to Cona Elder Law for innovative strategies and cutting-edge solutions regarding Med­icaid and government benefits el­igibility, Guardianship proceedings, PRUCOL matters, collections, liti­gation, and other matters related to resident financial accounts and the facility's bottom line. Cona Elder Law works to secure and ensure a payment source for long term health care, working to­gether with both families and health care facilities to sustain quality care for older adults.

About the Author Cona Elder Law

Cona Elder Law is a full service law firm based in Melville, LI. Our firm concentrates in the areas of elder law, estate planning, estate administration and litigation, special needs planning and health care facility representation. We are proud to have been recognized for our innovative strategies, creative techniques and unparalleled negotiating skills unendingly driven toward our paramount objective - satisfying the needs of our clients.

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