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Should Fines And Sanctions Increase For Nursing Home Safety Violations?

by | Apr 13, 2022 | Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect

The past couple of years have highlighted many problems within the nursing homes of the country. As these problems continued to come to light, even the White House discussed the importance of handling these issues.

Some of the matters addressed included sanctions and fines for different problems related to nursing homes.

What are the fines and sanctions for?

AARP discusses the possibility of increasing fines and sanctions regarding nursing home violations of safety. These fines will get directed at “substandard facilities”, i.e. facilities that do not meet the new federal care standards. They request Congress to boost the limit on some of these fines from anywhere from $21,000 to $1 million, depending on the infraction.

They also want Congress to expand the ability of federal regulators to target “bad actors”, boosting the CMS funding to $500 million annually. This would cover safety and health inspections of nursing homes across the nation. This would also allow for better tracking of the history of refractions of any specific facility.

Criticisms against these measures

Critics of these measures believe they do not do enough to address issues like worker compensation or Medicaid reimbursement rates. Others criticize that the system should focus on “improvement and not punishment”.

At the same time, this is an effective way to potentially handle the widespread and dangerous issues that understaffed and subpar facilities can bring to their residents. In some cases, swift and harsh penalties are the best way of dealing with a facility that refuses to correct its issues, even if those issues affect the wellness and livelihood of the residents they must protect and care for.