The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has put a pause on implementation of nursing home neglect rules for up to 18 months.
Anyone who has recently put a loved one in a nursing home or similar facility will likely have concerns about their safety. Advocates are concerned about rollback when CMS has paused existing nursing home neglect rules.
The CMS is freezing or rolling back new enforcement procedures, which were designed to address the growing number of complaints filed by residents of nursing homes and their family members.
Nursing home neglect problems nationwide have been alleged in many different lawsuits as well, prompting the government agency and safety advocates to encourage nursing home neglect rules that would minimize these serious circumstances that can lead to catastrophic injuries.
A November 24 memorandum regarding the nursing home neglect rules was issued by CMS telling agency directors that the temporary moratorium would affect the enforcement procedures originally put together by the Obama Administration.
The moratorium will last for a minimum of 18 months, and the time period is allegedly being used to educate facilities about how to implement the new standards. At the same time, it will halt the incorporation of surveys into health inspection star ratings, because those ratings are being frozen.
The new nursing home neglect rules were intended to go into effect on November 28, and these were the biggest changes to long-term care requirements since 1991. A number of different watchdog groups and patient advocacy organizations say that the rollback of these Obama era rules would have made nursing home residents more safe in these environments, preventing them from the problems associated with understaffing and abuse.
CMS had previously rolled back plans to charge nursing homes with violations for every instance, as opposed to a current system that bases fines on a per day basis.
Pressure from nursing home industry lobbyists may be behind the pausing and rollback of these nursing home neglect rules. CMS remains the government entity responsible for monitoring nursing homes as part of the care reimbursement scheme that affects millions of Americans.
The agency is also responsible for investigating claims and tracking facilities that have a high likelihood of nursing home neglect and abuse. Furthermore, CMS is the agency responsible with stepping in to take appropriate action against those facilities charged with neglect and nursing home abuse. One of the avenues of recourse available to CMS in the past has been to deny Medicare reimbursement.
Care may be lacking at nursing home facilities due to malnutrition, injuries from falls, nursing home neglect and abuse. If you suspect that your loved one has been subjected to nursing home neglect, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit with the help of an experienced attorney.
Has your loved one suffered in a nursing home abuse or neglect case? Speak with an attorney at McDonald Worley to figure out your next steps.