State Officials Urging HHS for More Power
Last week Attorneys General from 37 states penned a letter to Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price requesting policy changes surrounding Medicaid funding. The goal of this effort is to allow Medicaid funds to be used to investigate alleged abuse or neglect in the home care environment.
Current laws provides patient the rights to have complaints of alleged abuse or neglect in the healthcare setting care reviewed but the protection does not extend to care in a patients home.
This effort to amend policy stems from data recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which suggests that 1 out of 10 individuals aged 65 and over will be the victim of abuse and that most elder abuse is not detected.
To combat this issue, the Attorneys General letter requests that Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCU) funds are allowed to be used to investigate and prosecute abuse and neglect in non-institutional settings, including care within the home. Furthermore, the request asks that MFCUs federal funds can now be used to screen and review patient complaints regardless of the care setting.
CHAP will continue to monitor this story and provide updates as they are made available.