The Trump administration is rolling back fines against nursing homes accused of abusing or neglecting patients.
The American Health Care Association made the request to then-president-elect Donald Trump to change Medicare’s penalty protocols in December 2016, saying that “inspectors were too focused on finding wrongdoings at nursing homes instead of assisting the facilities. It is critical that we have relief.”
The nursing home industry supports this policy change.
Nearly 6,500 nursing homes have been cited at least once for a serious violation since 2013. Two thirds of them have been fined by Medicare, according to the New York Times. Under Trump’s policy, regulators will be discouraged from fining nursing homes, and, in some cases, those fines may be reduced.
The New York Times reported an example of how the change in fines would play out by referencing a facility that failed to properly monitor a patient’s wound, which led to her death. Under the Obama-era policy, the nursing home was fined $282,954. The Trump administration’s rule would fine the same facility less than $21,000.
This isn’t the first time the Trump administration has rolled back protections for nursing home patients. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) was pushing new guidelines for nursing homes seeking reimbursement for patient care that would require them to stop forcing new residents to sign binding arbitration agreements. This would allow patients and their families to sue long-term care facilities that engaged in elder abuse, neglect or wrongful death.
The Trump administration said instead it would allow nursing homes to keep forced arbitration clauses in its new resident contracts, but simply required the wording to be clear and easy to understand.
Source: Truth Dig