Attorneys General Take Action to Protect Seniors in Wake of COVID-19

  • A bipartisan group of 27 AGs, led by New York AG Letitia James, sent a letter to U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) Secretary Ben Carson advocating for protections for senior citizens against COVID-19-related foreclosures of HUD-insured reverse mortgages. In the letter, the AGs praise the steps HUD has already taken to limit reverse mortgage foreclosures and ask HUD to educate consumers about available relief, grant servicers flexibility to seek relief from local taxing authorities, and prepare to extend relief beyond 12 months, among other things.
  • Sixteen Democratic AGs, led by New York AG James, sent a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma urging her to promulgate rules requiring nursing homes to notify the Centers for Disease Control, nursing home residents, and their representatives of COVID-19 cases in the facility. The AGs argue that the rules are necessary to fully implement the Administrator’s guidance on reporting, which she issued in an April 2020 memorandum.
  • New Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal is reportedly investigating the operations of long-term care facilities across the state both before and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. AG Grewal’s office has also established an online portal where constituents can report nursing home misconduct.
  • Investigators from Ohio AG Dave Yost’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit reportedly searched nursing home Bickford Senior Living (“Bickford”) with the assistance of law enforcement in response to a complaint against Bickford sent to the AG’s office and the state Department of Health. The complaint reportedly alleged that sick patients were not tested for COVID-19 and were not separated from healthy residents, and that staff did not have proper personal protective equipment.