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Attorneys General Request Policy Change to Fight Elderly Abuse

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is looking to change existing Medicaid policy in order to combat the problem of elder abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, one in 10 of individuals who are aged 65 and older and living at home are the victims of abuse. By changing Medicaid policy to allow for additional funds to be diverted to investigating more abuse and neglect cases, the NAAG hopes to decreases these incidents of abuse.

Most state’s attorney general offices contain a unit that is specifically designed to investigate and prosecute state Medicaid provider fraud. These units are generally referred to as Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs). Aside from fraud investigations, unit staff members also investigate abuse and neglect complaints from residents at Medicaid-funded health care facilities, and also may investigate complaints at other care facilities.

The problem with current Medicaid policy is that there are extremely strict limitations on the use of MFCU funds to investigate and prosecute abuse. As a result, 37 state attorneys general and the attorney general of the District of Columbia are asking the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make two changes in federal Medicaid policy:

  • Allow MCFU funds to investigate and prosecute abuse of Medicaid beneficiaries who are residing in non-institutionalized settings.
  • Allow MCFU funds to freely screen or review all complaints or reports of abuse or neglect of any type.

These changes in policy would permit staff members of MFCUs to investigate abuse allegations no matter where the alleged victim in residing, even if it is in a private home, and no matter what type of abuse is involved.

There are many different types of abuse or neglect that can occur to residents in nursing home or residential care facilities. The Wisconsin elder abuse lawyers of Boller & Vaughan have handled countless claims on behalf of nursing home residents who have suffered serious injuries and even death due to the negligent behavior of nursing home staff and facilities, regardless of the type of abuse or neglect involved. When a serious injury or death of a loved one occurs, we know just how devastating it can be, and how powerless you are likely to feel as a result. Allow your family to begin the healing process from this traumatic event by holding the wrongdoers responsible for your loved one’s injuries. Contact our office today and set up a free consultation with one of our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys.