To help combat the epidemic of elder abuse, on March 30th of 2016, the Department of Justice made an announcement about the formal launch of 10 regional Elder Justice Task Forces designed to identify nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that provide “grossly substandard care” to residents. This is similar to a team previously launched by the Department of Justice known as the Medicare Fraud Strike Force and Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team or HEAT initiative, the newly created Elder Justice Task Forces will focus on coordination and information sharing among federal, state and local enforcement agencies to combat suspected cases of physical abuse and financial fraud of the elderly.
Every task force in this new Elder Justice Task Force will consist of representatives from the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, state Medicaid Fraud Control Units, state and local prosecutors’ offices, the Department of Health and Human Services, state Adult Protective Services agencies, Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs and other law enforcement officials. These task forces will also have a national footprint with locations in the following districts: Northern District of California, Northern District of Georgia, District of Kansas, Western District of Kentucky, Northern District of Iowa, District of Maryland, Southern District of Ohio, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Middle District of Tennessee and the Western District of Washington.
These new Elder Justice Task forces mean that there is increased interest and attention being focused on the Long Term Care industry, maybe due in part to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ proposed rule, last summer, to overhaul requirements for participation by Long Term Care facilities in federal health care programs.
Hopefully new task forces like this one will help to improve nursing homes and decrease the amount of people that suffer from nursing home abuse and neglect every day. Even with these programs, if you have a loved one in a nursing home, it is still important to check on them as often as possible so you can notice any signs of abuse or neglect such as, bruises, scratches, scrapes, cuts, your loved one being in dirty clothes or seeming distant, withdrawn or unusually worried or agitated. If you notice any of these signs you should tell the nursing home right away. Be sure to be persistent and clear about any concerns you have. If they fail to properly address the issue you can contact the Tennessee Department of Health so they can investigate. You should also contact one of our compassionate and experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers with The Higgins Firm. We care about our clients and will hear your case and help you gather any evidence that may be needed. Then, our nursing home legal team will work hard to see to it that you receive compensation for any abuse or neglect your loved one has experienced. We will also make sure that the nursing home responsible is held accountable and pays for their negligence.
You can contact us online or by calling 800.705.2121 to discuss your case and any questions you might have.