P.M. BRIEFING : Suit Filed Over Nursing Home Law

From Times wire services

Two major nursing-home groups filed suit against the government today to block provisions of a law requiring nursing homes to turn away the mentally ill and mentally retarded.

The American Health Care Assn. and the American Assn. of Homes for the Aging said the federal government is requiring states to implement the law, which took effect Jan. 1, even though the Department of Health and Human Services has issued no regulations to guide them.

They said the result is that the law will hurt the people it was intended to help by denying them admission to nursing homes even when no alternative care facilities are available.