Growing Old Ain’t for Wimps


As the saying goes, growing old ain’t for wimps, and caring for aging Americans also ain’t for wimps these days, with the passage of health reform. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) passed earlier this year includes several nettlesome provisions for providers caring for elderly patients or residents, including:

The Elder Justice Act: From reporting of “suspected crimes” to establishing various governmental advisory boards and councils, this section of PPACA establishes multiple new legal obligations for long-term facilities, but also establishes several new programs or grants to enhance long-term care with a focus on reducing abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The programs relate to various areas in long-term care, such as staffing, adult protective services, and research. Many of these provisions are effective now with little or no guidance from the government.

New Transparency Requirements: PPACA mandates the revelation of significantly more invasive information about owners, managers, governing body members, and other “additional disclosable parties” of regulated facilities. A facility will have to certify that the information is accurate and current or face penalties. A standardized format for this information (along with some analysis of what information is needed) is due out by March 2012, but you must have this information (whatever it may be) available now if the government pays your facility a visit.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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