FTC charges two online senior care placement services with misrepresentation

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged two Internet-based companies with allowing consumers in search of long-term care placement assistance to believe that the companies researches the facilities it recommends. The settlements prohibit CarePatrol, Inc., and ABCSP, Inc. (Always Best Care) from making false or making unsubstantiated statements about their services in the future. The proposed orders apply for at least the next 20 years.

Complaints against CarePatrol indicated that the company claims to monitor the care history and violations of nearly all of the assisted living facilities (ALFs) in a consumer’s geographic area and that it grades and monitors these facilities based on their most recent state inspection report. With franchises in 12 states, Care Patrol also claims a network of senior care consultants in each state.

A second FTC complaint was filed against ABCSP, Inc. (Always Best Care), which operates a national network of franchises. The complaint alleges that the company misrepresented its services and that its recommendations for ALFs and residential care homes in different geographic areas are based on personal knowledge of its staff or agents in those areas.

In an FTC release, David Vladeck, director of the commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, stated: “Senior citizens need honest information when they’re considering long-term care options. Companies that claim to know which facilities to recommend to consumers need to back up their claims or they will hear from the FTC.”

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