Medical Malpractice in Adult Daycares? Maybe, But the Chance for Fraud is Greater.
- February 4, 2014
- 1 Comment
Adult daycare programs in New York are appearing on the radar screens of advocates for the elderly. Such centers do not require licenses, they are not inspected or reviewed by any government agency, and more of them are eligible to receive Medicaid funds. Some say that these centers are highly vulnerable to fraud and abuse, if not medical malpractice, because of the lax oversight.
As a result of changes in how long-term care is funded under Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid reform, adult daycare centers can be found all over New York, especially in immigrant communities. According to an attorney who practices elder law, more than 100 centers have sprung up in the Chinese community, possibly to take advantage of the Medicaid money that is available.
Long-established centers complain that the new daycares are paying seniors or family members $100 in cash to come. Making payoffs seems to be a trend among the new facilities: four adult daycares have been charged with making payoffs to Bronx Assemblyman Stevenson to limit or prohibit any new adult daycares in New York City.
In addition to their alleged financial irregularities, adult daycare centers are being scrutinized for the quality of care. Although these centers are primarily social and not medical, some wonder whether they are being operated to benefit elderly clients, or whether those who have been enticed to attend really need that level of service.
There are few rules about such centers, so it would be difficult to charge them with medical malpractice. The state does issue guidelines, but there is no review to see whether the centers are actually following those guidelines.