The federal government has recently announced plans for new regulations that will crack down on the problem of residents being abused by nursing home employees. Specifically, the new regulations are designed to target a recently occurring problem of nursing home employees taking demeaning photographs and videos of residents and sharing them on social media sites. Recently published articles by a patient advocacy group have documented the worsening phenomenon and the federal response.
Most nursing homes are administered by private organizations or state or municipal governments, but the federal government contributes to the costs for each resident in a vast majority of those homes in the form of Medicare payments made on the resident’s behalf. Although the federal government generally lacks direct regulatory authority to compel state or privately run nursing homes to implement certain policies, it can tie compliance with anti-abuse policies into the nursing home’s receipt of Medicare funds, which often comprise most of the payments the nursing homes receive.