Nursing Homes Warned about Debt Collection Practices
Sometimes a nursing home or its debt collector will try to illegally threaten to terminate a patient's stay in the the nursing home if a family member or other third party does not pay the bill.
On September 8, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sent letters reminding nursing facilities of their responsibilities under three laws, the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA), the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
The Nursing Home Reform Act prohibits nursing facilities from requesting or requiring that a third party personally guarantee payment to the facility as a condition of a resident's admission or continued stay in the facility. When a nursing facility claims that a non-resident is personally financially responsible for a resident's bill and engages a third-party debt collector to collect the debt, the debt collector may violate the FDCPA by attempting to collect debts that are invalid under the NHRA.