Eastern District of Pennsylvania Forms Regional Elder Justice Task Force
PHILADELPHIA – Today, the Department of Justice announced the launch of 10 regional Elder Justice Task Forces, including one in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. These teams will bring together federal, state and local prosecutors, law enforcement, and agencies that provide services to the elderly, to coordinate and enhance efforts to pursue nursing homes that provide grossly substandard care to their residents.
The Elder Justice Task Forces will include representatives from the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, state Medicaid Fraud Control Units, state and local prosecutors’ offices, the Department of Health and Human Services, state Adult Protective Services agencies, Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs and law enforcement.
“When our seniors enter a nursing home or long-term care facility there is a valid expectation that they will receive reasonable, appropriate and adequate care,” said United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. “Unfortunately, my office has handled far too many cases in recent years where elderly citizens and their families were victimized by care facilities that put profits ahead of serving those expectations. The Elder Care Task Force will allow us to more effectively hold those who are providing substandard care accountable for their reprehensible conduct.”
“Millions of seniors count on nursing homes to provide them with quality care and to treat them with dignity and respect when they are most vulnerable,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart F. Delery. “Yet, all too often we have found nursing home owners or operators who put their own economic gain before the needs of their residents. These task forces will help ensure that we are working closely with all relevant parties to protect the elderly.”
In addition to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Elder Justice Task Forces are being launched in: District of Maryland, Northern District of California, Northern District of Georgia, District of Kansas, Western District of Kentucky, Northern District of Iowa, Southern District of Ohio, Middle District of Tennessee and the Western District of Washington.
“Too often, our elderly citizens are exploited, many times without their knowledge,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Nick DiGiulio, of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. “The formation of this task force brings additional resources to uncover abuses, bring justice to more vulnerable victims, and raise awareness about the repercussions that exist for providing substandard care to the elderly.”
“Pennsylvania’s Medicaid fraud Control Section fully supports this federal undertaking to protect and serve the most vulnerable of citizens,” said Andrew Demarest, Pennsylvania Chief Deputy AG, Medicaid Fraud Control Section.
The Elder Justice Task Forces reflect the Department’s larger strategy and commitment to protecting our nation’s seniors, spearheaded by the Department’s Elder Justice Initiative. The Elder Justice Initiative coordinates and supports the Department’s law enforcement efforts and policy activities on elder justice issues. It plays an integral role in the Department’s investigative and enforcement efforts against nursing homes and other long-term care entities that deliver grossly substandard care to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The Elder Justice Initiative will be providing litigation support and training to the Elder Justice Task Forces. Learn more about the Justice Department’s Elder Justice Initiative at http://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/.