WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding media reports detailing instances of abuse, neglect, and patient harm at both Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) and Nursing Facilities (NFs) participating in Medicare and/or Medicaid.
The letter was signed by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Gregg Harper (R-MS), Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL).
The letter follows an October 2017 letter to the owner of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, LLC, the Florida nursing home that lost 14 residents in the wake of Hurricane Irma, after the facility’s air conditioning failed. #SubOversight also examined this issue as part of its October 2017 hearing reviewing the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) preparedness for, and response to, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
“These reports raise serious questions about the degree to which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is fulfilling its responsibility to ensure federal quality of care standards are being met, as well as its duty to protect vulnerable seniors from elder abuse and harm in facilities participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” wrote Walden, Harper, Burgess, and Bilirakis. “The adequacy of the CMS’ oversight of SNFs and NFs has also been called into question in recent reports issued by the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS OIG) and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).”
The leaders continued, “To assist the committee’s efforts, we write today to request information about CMS’ role overseeing SNFs and NFs, including the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills and other health care facilities where Dr. Jack Michel, managing member of the limited liability company that owns the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, has an ownership interest. Further, the committee requests information and documents relating to CMS’ oversight of all SNFs and NFs participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, especially relating to reports of sexual abuse and neglect.”
Click HERE to read a copy of the letter.