Officials from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) detailed their efforts to combat illegal debt collection practices in nursing homes.
The agencies released a joint letter confirming that a nursing facility cannot require a third-party caregiver to personally guarantee payment of a nursing home resident’s bills as a condition of the resident’s admission to the nursing home. establishment.
The guidance stems from a CFPB Issue Spotlight outlining difficulties and experiences heard from carers regarding lawsuits over alleged debts of friends or family members to nursing care facilities.
“Nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid are prohibited from forcing a resident’s family or friends to assume responsibility for the cost of care as a condition of admission or continued stay at the facility,” it said. said CFPB director Rohit Chopra. “Collectors must take steps to ensure they are not breaking the law by collecting invalid debts from nursing homes.”
The CFPB said the collection tactics violate the Nursing Home Reform Act and subsequent attempts to collect debts from caregivers may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Reporting Act. fair credit.