We are witnessing unprecedented rollbacks in regulations that were established to protect our nation’s Elders. In October 2016, CMS issued a final rule, “Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities” that contained several important updates to OBRA 1987—the first significant set of rules in 30 years. One important new rule was the ban on facilities requiring pre-arbitration agreements as a condition of admission. This protection was rolled back in a September 2019 rule—now facilities are able to ask residents to enter into pre-arbitration agreements, although not as a condition of admission. Another significant setback is related to enforcement of the rules governing facilities. OBRA 1987 established Civil Money Penalties to impose monetary sanctions against nursing homes for non-compliance.
In 2017, CMS granted the industry a moratorium on fines for non-compliance and reduced the penalty amounts. CMS’ proposed 2019 rule, “Medicare & Medicaid Programs; Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities: Regulatory Provisions to Promote Efficiency and Transparency” will even further erode Elder protections gained under OBRA 1987 and the 2016 final rule. The following is a letter sent by the Claude Pepper Center to CMS and an issue brief detailing what will be lost in response to the 2019 proposed rule.
- The Deregulation of Nursing Homes in CMS’ “Regulatory Provisions to Promote Efficiency and Transparency” (2019)
Letter to CMS:
- Bugs, Mold and Unwashed Hands: Rampant Safety Violations in Nursing Home Kitchens Endanger Residents (Fair Warning)
- California AG blasts Trump Administration’s proposed rule that weakens protections for residents at nursing homes (USA Herald)
- US: Rollback of Nursing Home Protections (Human Rights Watch)
- The hidden victims of Trump’s deregulatory agenda: Nursing home residents (The Washington Post)