Nursing Homes Warned Against Seizing Stimulus Checks From Residents

Carole Herman from FATE writes:

Nursing homes are coming under more scrutiny during the Covid-19 pandemic, this time for complaints about efforts to confiscate coronavirus stimulus checks as published by The Hill today 6/11/20.

State and federal authorities have recently notified the public about complaints of long-term care facilities demanding residents on Medicaid turn over their relief payments. Those alerts prompted prominent lawmakers to lean on various federal agencies urging them to investigate the issue and make it clear to facilities that they are not entitled to the checks. Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin told the Hill…”we have provisions that protect the elderly.” She urged the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to exercise its oversight authority to protect residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The main message is that the money belongs to the resident and that is the word the government wants to get out loud and clear. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement that his office received complaints concerning this issue. Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum issued a similar statement that she has had complaints and stated “These stimulus checks are the property of the residents and must be returned to them.” It is unclear how many nursing homes have tried to take the residents’ checks.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has added its own warning to nursing homes that any attempts to confiscate resident stimulus checks could result in federal enforcement actions.