The federal government issued a reminder Thursday about illegal nursing home debt collection practices.
In a joint letter, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reminded facility operators and debt collectors to stop pursuing friends and families of alleged bill payments from nursing homes.
“Nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid are prohibited from forcing a resident’s family or friends to assume responsibility for the cost of care as a condition of admission or continued stay in the facility,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Debt collectors must take steps to ensure they are not violating the law by collecting on invalid nursing home debts.”
If it does happen, the agencies said they'd violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.