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Federal Government Cuts Nursing Home Fines for Health Violations

March 19th, 2019

Changes made to the way Washington punishes nursing home violations has resulted in lowered fines levied against facilities which have injured or endangered residents. An article detailing the changes—and the effects they have had—is available here.

Changes in Assessment

Compared to 2016, the average fine assessed against a nursing home found in violation of health and safety rules has dropped from $41,260 to $28,405. Federal records show fines have fallen off—even though the federal government currently issues more penalties than it had in prior years.

The United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issues financial penalties 28% more frequently than before—though it now issues smaller fines far in excess of larger penalties. Currently, officials levy a greater number of one-time “per instance” fines—as opposed to “per day” fines, which compound based on how long a facility was out of compliance.

The Real Numbers

Last year, CMS levied $114 million in total fines—down 10% from the $127 million in fines levied during 2016. The agency claims recent revisions have made the process through which it can now administer punishments both fairer and more consistent.

They suggest the new procedures are better suited to making improvements in nursing-home care. Fines are currently capped at $21,393—whether assessed per instance or per day. Facilities that do not contest the fine receive a discount of 35%, for an average fine of $13,905.

Changes in Oversight

The current administration has heeded complaints of zealous oversight lodged by nursing home industry officials—offering an 18-month moratorium on penalties for violations of eight new health and safety regulations. At the same time, it lifted a ban on facilities requiring residents to submit to arbitration to settle disputes before going to court.

While industry advocates praise the current administration’s rollback of the aggressive healthcare regulation of healthcare services, critics say reducing such penalties provides nursing homes with less incentive to correct dangerous conditions or faulty practices.

We’ll Fight for Your Loved One

If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, call the experienced North Carolina nursing home abuse lawyers at Henson Fuerst today at (919) 781-1107.

When you call, you will speak with one of our experienced Raleigh nursing home abuse attorneys. They will investigate every detail of your situation at no cost to you and fight hard to protect your rights. At Henson Fuerst, you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front—and you owe us nothing unless we recover for you.

Call Henson Fuerst, Because Your Case Matters