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Harmful Nursing Homes Largely Escape Penalties, Report Finds
- April 23rd, 2007
Nursing homes with a long history of harming patients are not being held accountable for the poor care they provide, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
'Some of these homes repeatedly harmed residents over a six-year period and yet remain in the Medicare and Medicaid programs,' said the report.
Despite a law passed in 1987 establishing stringent federal standards for nursing homes, investigators found that Bush administration officials rarely use their authority to deny Medicare or Medicaid payments to facilities that provide poor-quality care and typically impose fines far less than the maximum of $10,000 a day.
Instead, the Bush administration has been allowing homes a grace period to improve conditions, which allows them to cycle in and out of compliance with federal standards for years.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) called the study's conclusions 'very discouraging.'
Administration officials said they feared that patients could lose access to care if they abruptly withdrew federal support, although they did promise to post information on the Web showing which nursing homes had been punished for providing substandard care.
To download the GAO report, "Nursing Homes: Efforts to Strengthen Federal Enforcement Have Not Deterred Some Homes from Repeatedly Harming Residents," click here.
For an article on the GAO report in The New York Times, click here.
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy PLC
Attorney Samantha Simmons Fredieu is an associate at Hale Ball. Ms. Fredieu graduated magna cum laude from Vermont Law School where she was the symposium editor on the Vermont Law Review, a production editor on the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, and a member of the Moot Court Advisory Board. She has clerked for...
Margaret A. O'Reilly, PC
Margaret A. O’Reilly is an estate planning and elder law attorney with over thirty-five years of legal experience. Attorney O’Reilly graduated from Duke University with a degree in psychology, and received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. For over 15 y...