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White House reverses policy limiting fines on nursing homes in the United States

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FRIDAY July 30, 2021 (HealthDay News)

The Biden administration rescinded a Trump policy that limited the amount of fines that U.S. nursing homes could be slapped for for violating safety standards.

The Trump policy was passed in 2017 and prevented the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from fining a nursing home for every day that did not meet federal standards.

This reduced many penalties to a single fine, lowering the total amounts from hundreds of thousands of dollars to a maximum of $ 22,000, The New York Times reported.

According to Toby Edelman, senior policy attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy, many nursing homes cited for violations such as poor infection controls, failing to protect residents from preventable accidents, neglect, abuse and injury. bedsores, are repeat offenders.

Higher fines are a deterrent and are more likely to indicate strict enforcement of the rules, Edelman told the Times.

In early July, the Biden administration amended the guidelines on the CMS website, saying it had “determined that the agency should retain discretion for the time being to impose a penalty per day if necessary to remedy to specific circumstances of previous non-compliance “.

The new policy means that regulators can impose penalties per day or per instance, the Times reported.

Nursing home deaths account for nearly a third of the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States.

Although there has been a sharp drop in deaths from COVID-19 in nursing homes since vaccines became available, insufficient staff, shortages of protective equipment and poor infection control remain concerns. problems, according to defenders and some officials, the Times reported.

Federal data shows that while 81% of nursing home residents are vaccinated, only 58% of workers are immune, increasing the risk of an outbreak even among fully vaccinated residents.

The fines imposed on a daily basis “only take precious resources away from an already underfunded industry, especially at an unprecedented time when nursing homes need all the support they need to protect their residents,” the The industry’s leading trade group, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, said in a statement, the Times reported.

More information

Visit the Agency for Research and Quality in Health Care to learn more about retirement home security.

THE SOURCE: The New York Times

Robert Preidt

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