At the end of 2017, under the direction of President Trump, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reduced the fines and penalties for the medical and patient safety errors of nursing homes. Many industry experts and observers are concerned that these changes could insulate nursing homes from being held responsible for even the most egregious instances of wrongdoing. Advocates for nursing home reform believe that the regulatory changes may reverse progress made in improving the level of care provided by these facilities over the last several decades.
In the fall of 2017, while still maintaining that nursing homes should be fined for systemic and intentional errors and errors, CMS discouraged its regional offices from levying fines for one-time nursing home errors, even if this sole error contributed to the death of a patient.
The American Health Care Association and other nursing home industry organizations welcomed the changes. These groups assert that prior enforcement and oversight regulations were more punitive than preventive, and failed to help nursing homes improve overall care. Critics say that these organizations were simply glad because they perceive the rollbacks as having a positive effect on profits.
Janet Wells, a consultant for California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, stated in an interview with the New York Times that the Trump Administration has mandated “reforms” at a time when “some egregious violations and injuries to residents are being penalized — finally — at a level that gets the industry’s attention and isn’t just the cost of doing business.” According to the Times article, almost 6,500 nursing homes have been cited for a serious violation since 2013 and approximately two-thirds of these homes have been fined by Medicare.
If you are concerned about the safety record of a facility where a loved one is getting care, Click here for a link to a Medicare site where you may check their safety record.
At Bonina and Bonina, P.C., we have been successfully fighting for New Yorkers injured by nursing home abuse and neglect for over 50 years. If you or a loved one has been injured by nursing home neglect, we will listen to you, explain your options, and help you decide what action you should take.
Contact us today at 1-888-MedLaw1 or online so we can help you. The consultation is free.