The United States Department of Justice announced the creation of a new task force on Wednesday, March 30. The group includes 10 new Regional Elder Justice Task Forces, established to investigate and monitor substandard nursing home care. The teams include federal, state, and local authorities.
The task forces will include individuals from:
- U.S. Attorney’s Offices
- Medicaid Fraud Control Units
- State and Local Prosecutor’s Offices
- Adult Protective Service Agencies
- Long-term Care Ombudsman Programs
- Law Enforcement
The task forces will be located in the Western District of Washington, Middle District of Tennessee, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Southern District of Ohio, District of Maryland, Northern District of Iowa, Western District of Kentucky, District of Kansas, Northern District of Georgia, and the Northern District of California.
Authorities believe that by working together, they can have a more comprehensive approach to combating nursing home abuse. The different teams will conduct investigations, share information, and regularly meet to discuss their findings to strengthen their efforts to protect the elderly residing in nursing homes.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer states,
The Department of Justice has a long history of holding nursing homes and long-term care providers accountable when they fail to provide their Medicare and Medicaid residents with even the most basic nursing services to which they were entitled. By bringing everyone to the table, we will be able to more effectively and quickly pursue nursing homes that are jeopardizing the health and well-being of their residents.
However, not everyone was thrilled with the creation of the new task forces. The American Health Care Association criticized the announcement. The organization’s CEO, Mark Parkinson, claims that this new agenda makes it seem that nursing home care quality is on the decline, when that is not true.
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