Families Sued for Nursing Home Debts

Recent reporting by NPR reveals that in upstate New York,  it is becoming common for nursing home to sue friends and relatives for the care of residents – and this is common in other areas, too.

In New York’s Monroe County, where Rochester is located, 24 federally licensed nursing homes filed 238 debt collection cases from 2018 to 2021 seeking almost $7.6 million, KHN found. Several nursing homes did not file any lawsuits in that period.

The nursing home industry has quietly developed what consumer attorneys and patient advocates say is a pernicious strategy of pursuing family and friends of patients despite federal law that was enacted to protect them from debt collection. “The level of aggression that nursing homes are using to collect unpaid debt is severely increasing,” said Lisa Neeley, a Massachusetts elder law attorney.


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