New Regulations Would Levy Stiff Fines to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse

Would have ‘chilling effect’ on staffers, critics retort

Nursing home industry leaders battle a newly proposed Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regulation that would allow civil money penalties against skilled nursing home staff who fail to report reasonable suspicion of crimes.

American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living members fully support “thoughtful, proactive measures” designed to address abuse and neglect, said AHCA Vice President David Gifford, MD

“(But) this kind of penalty will do nothing to proactively prevent abuse,” he told McKnight’s in a statement. “Instead, it singles out nursing home staff and sends a chilling effect through the profession, making it more challenging to hire and retain qualified staff. This kind of regulation will prevent skilled and passionate individuals from working in nursing homes.”

LeadingAge CEO Katie Smith Sloan asked a reasonable question in the same McKnight’s interview.

“Why, with the threat of large financial penalties for failure to detect and report a ‘reasonable suspicion’ of a crime against a resident, would anyone want to work in a nursing home?” Sloan said in a statement to McKnight’s. “Why would well-meaning and capable professionals not go to work in hospitals and other healthcare organizations instead?”


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