Congress Considering More Protections For Seniors
Social Isolation And Financial Pressures Of COVID-19
More Federal Funding For Local Support Programs Needed
The ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic on the elderly confined in nursing homes has brought new attention to the level of care in America’s nursing homes. Congressional committees are have turned their attention to these issues and many believe Congress is likely to approve legislation soon to help. The elder abuse litigators at Evans Law Firm, Inc. have experience representing seniors harmed by lack of care, neglect and intentional abuse in nursing homes. If you suspect a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call the elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. today at (415)441-8669.
Here are a few recent initiatives in Congress that may produce more protection for seniors in nursing homes and, more generally, all seniors who are potential victims of other forms of abuse:
1. In late June, a House Ways and Means Subcommittee held extensive hearings examining the COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes. Prior to that, the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus held its own hearing discussing the root of the virus’ spread into nursing homes and possible courses of action. It is hoped that additional federal support for testing for older Americans and PPE (personal protective equipment) for nursing home staffs, visitors, and residents will come from these hearings.
2. Earlier in June, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, sent an important letter to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which led CMS within days to mandate the reporting of COVID-19 cases by nursing homes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
3. Two pieces of important elder justice legislation have been introduced in the Senate in recent weeks. The Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act and the Protecting Seniors from Emergency Scams Act take important steps to limit targeted scams through training, educational materials or data collection.
4. The House will soon take up the Stop Senior Scams Act, which would establish an advisory group charged with educating retail and financial employees on elder financial exploitation. This bipartisan bill passed the Senate via unanimous consent this month and is being considered by the House.
5. The pending Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) from the House would authorize $500 million for states to set up “strike teams” assisting nursing homes. It would also create incentives for high quality nursing homes to create COVID-19 units and require CMS to provide guidance to nursing homes and data on case numbers.
What’s missing from this list is the necessity for Congress to re-authorize the Elder Justice Act of 2010, which among other things created the federally supported Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program to initiate investigations into cases of nursing home abuse. The current Administration has essentially halted these investigations. Elder abuse advocates hope that the next emergency package to deal with the pandemic will include a re-authorization of the 2010 Act and other improvements and additional funding for federal programs designed to protect seniors.
If you or someone you love is the victim of nursing home abuse or any other form of elder abuse in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans and the other elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with securities, annuity, and other investment fraud, financial elder abuse cases and complex qui tam or whistleblower cases including offshore tax avoidance cases, complex financial contract cases and cases against large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical elder abuse, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.