BOSTON (AP) — More than a dozen Massachusetts nursing homes will now accept patients being treated for opioid addiction.
Athena Health Care Systems reached a settlement on Tuesday with the office of U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling to forgo a practice that has long-remained common among nursing homes.
Athena has agreed to adopt the nondiscrimination policy, provide training to admissions personnel at its 16 nursing homes and pay a civil penalty of $10,000.
The change follows allegations from the U.S. attorney's office that Athena nursing homes violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by rejecting patients because they were being treated with buprenorphine, one of three medications used to treat opioid use disorder.
Many nursing homes have cited feeling ill-equipped to handle the needs of individuals with opioid addiction.