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Sep 17, 2018 by |

State AGs Urge Feds Not to Rollback Nursing Home Regulations

Seniors who move into nursing homes or other care facilities are very vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Alameda County elder abuse lawyers can provide representation to those seniors who are victimized. Elderly seniors harmed by nursing home abuse or neglect can get help from Evans Law Firm to pursue a claim for compensation for all damages they experience.

Unfortunately, one reason why so many seniors are at risk in nursing home care facilities is because of a lack of strong uniform regulations ensuring that these vulnerable elderly people are protected.  The federal government had taken action to tighten the protections in place for nursing home residents, but these protections are in danger of being rolled back. 

The California attorney general is leading a coalition of 16 states urging the Department of Health and Human Services not to roll back these regulations but instead to allow them to go forward in a timely manner to prevent seniors from abuse or neglect.

State Attorneys General Urge the Federal Government Not to Roll Back Nursing Home Oversight Reforms

In 2016, a series of reforms were put into place for long-term care facilities in order to prevent abuse and limit the risk of infection.  The reforms included, among other things, new infection control protocols. These new standards were supposed to be phased in, with the second set of reforms scheduled to take effect in November of 2017. 

However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has not allowed the reforms to move forward on schedule. Instead, CMS has delayed the imposition of certain penalties imposed on care facilities that do not comply with new rules by 18 months. CMS also decreased the frequency of penalties and the amount of civil monetary penalties that can be imposed for past violations by nursing home care facilities. The focus has shifted from per-day penalties for violations to per-instance penalties, which in effect reduces the amount that care facilities can be penalized for not complying with safety regulations.

The California Attorney General is warning that the delays in regulatory reform risk the “mental and physical security of seniors in nursing homes.” He has also warned that it will be more difficult for California to fight elder abuse and Medi-Cal fraud if the reforms do not go into effect in a timely manner.

It remains to be seen if the federal government will backtrack and change its position both on reducing penalties and delaying enforcement of new regulations.  However, regardless of what decision is made, residents of nursing homes have protections available to them under existing laws that are designed to ensure they will be cared for in an appropriate way in nursing homes – even if the current regulations are not as strong as advocates for the elderly would prefer them to be.

If you or someone you love is victimized by abuse or neglect in a nursing home, other care facility or an in-home caregiver, you can take legal action to recover compensation for losses. The Alameda County elder abuse lawyers at Evans Law Firm can help. Contact Evans Law Firm online or call 415-441-8669 for a free initial consultation today to find out how our firm can fight for you.

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