The Problem with Easing Regulations That Protect Nursing Home Residents

Several new policies were created to safeguard residents in 2014 setting nursing homes up for better accountability, such as fining violating nursing homes each day until problems were fixed and publicly exposing a facility when residents report care complaints. But since 2016, regulation on the rules nursing homes have to follow in order to collect Medicare or Medicaid dollars has seen a risky overhaul, marking the new administration responsible for the removal of several health and safety regulations essential to protecting residents.

These rules were intended to dictate how nursing homes operate, and the group’s inspections and surveys are designed to spur change and compliance through Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS is the federal agency tasked with the oversight and regulation of over 15,600 nursing homes in the United States. In August 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued an alert that CMS has inadequate procedures to identify and report incidents of abuse or neglect to law enforcement.

3 Examples of Dangerous Nursing Home Deregulation 

With all of the constant changes happening in the nursing home industry, it can be challenging to find the latest rules and regulations. Since the new administration has taken office, many enforcement measures have now been delayed, and the number of per-day fines has dramatically dropped – and not because nursing homes are performing better, including Veterans Administration (VA) facilities.

  1. Federal records show that the average fine dropped to $28,405 under the current administration, down from $41,260 in 2016.
  2. Facilities are now granted an 18-month moratorium from being penalized for violating eight new health and safety rules.
  3. A previous administration rule barring a facility from pre-emptively requiring residents to submit to arbitration to settle disputes rather than go to court has been removed.

Ignoring the importance of or easing up on regulations only reduces the impact of nursing homes accountability, during a time when dangerous practices led by understaffed and underfunded facilities as well as for-profit nursing home moguls are responsible for the 3.2 million people in the U.S. subject to abuse or neglect while living in nursing homes.

Levin & Perconti: Chicago’s Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorneys 

The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin and Perconti are dedicated to protecting our clients from the confusion and misinformation concerning their rights and the laws and regulations set to protect them from abuse and neglect. With over half a billion dollars recovered for our clients, our attorneys are committed to bringing justice to families whose loved ones have been harmed by the deregulation of facilities.

Please, contact us now for a FREE consultation at 312-332-2872 in Chicago, toll-free at 1-877-374-1417, or by completing our online case evaluation form.

Also read: Long Term Care Advocacy Groups Remind Congress of Government’s Failure to Protect Elderly Residents