Bush exit rules make it harder to sue negligent nursing homes
Last fall, on its way out the door, the Bush administration quietly enacted a new rule that effectively prohibits state inspectors and Medicare and Medicaid contractors from providing evidence in private cases. The rules keeping evidence out of court affect about 16,000 nursing homes and more than 3 million residents. After we have paid to regulate and inspect these homes for the safety of residents, we are not allowed access to the information gained, in order to hold violators responsible for bad practices. The rules are denying access to key information both on how injuries and improper evictions have occurred, and also with regard to the state of the industry's health and safety practices generally.