The New York City Council is cracking down on fraudulent social adult day care centers that take advantage of the elderly. Some of thesecenters, which are meant to help those with chronic conditions requiring constant care, such as dementia and Alzheimer's, have been abusing Medicaid funding and leaving senior citizens vulnerable.

Legislation was passed on Wednesday to create oversight for all social adult day care centers. Sponsored by Council Member Margaret Chin, the proposal had almost unanimous support (48 co-sponsors out of 51 council members.) The new rules are designed specifically to prevent the misuse or waste of Medicaid funds at the centers in question. (These establishments are different from senior centers, which are funded by the Department of Aging.)

According to Chin, privately-run centers have not been required to adhere to any particular rules in the past, and there's been no enforcement of regulations or standards set for proper program services, administration, participant eligibility, staffing and facilities. Along with putting some of NYC's most at-risk seniors in danger, fraudulent centers have been able to rake in Medicaid profits by recruiting numerous healthy seniors. These day care centers are "especially prevalent in Chinatown and the Lower East Side," according to The Lo-Down.

"It is unacceptable that thousands of our city's vulnerable senior citizens are currently being cared for by social adult day care programs that are not required to follow the most basic health and safety rules," Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo said.

All centers will also be required to register with the city's Department for the Aging, and DFTA has been given the power to crack down on inappropriate centers with fines—$250 to $1000 per day for failing to register, and $250 to $500 per day for violating regulations.

Chin said the problem had gone unchecked for far too long. "I have spent years working on this issue because it is unacceptable for our seniors to receive anything less than the best possible care in facilities that are held to strict standards," said Chin, who chairs the council's Committee on Aging.

Mayor de Blasio is expected to sign the legislation into law on December 23.