It was recently reported that the Trump administration is directing that regulators decrease the amount and level of fines against nursing homes which violated state and federal regulations and provide harmful care to residents or place them at risk for serious bodily injury and even death.part of a broader relaxation of regulations which aligns with Trump’s promise to reduce bureaucracy, regulation and government intervention in business. Unfortunately, Trump's promise to his supporters may very likely develop into broader and more prevalent cases of abuse, neglect, negligence and overall decrease in the level of care in United States nursing home facilities.
This change in policy was spearheaded by the nursing home industry's lobbyists, the well-funded The American Health Care Association, the industry’s main trade group.
Common citations that are levied by federa; regulators against nursing homes include failing to protect residents from avoidable accidents, neglect, mistreatment and bedsores.
Exampled of common injuries sustained by nursing home residents as a result of abuse, mistreatment, neglect and/or negligence include Bed Sores or Pressure Sores (also known as “decubitus ulcers” or “pressure ulcers”), Falls resulting in fractures or other serious injury, Infection or Sepsis, Head injuries, Injuries of unknown origin, Malnutrition or Dehydration, Medication Errors, Choking, Clogged Breathing Tubes, Infected PEG tubes, Physical or Sexual Assault or Abuse, Physical or Chemical Restraints, Burns, Alzheimer's and other dementias, and Assaults by staff. The new guidelines under Trump discourages regulators from levying fines in many harmful situations, even when they have resulted in a resident’s death. The guidelines will also likely result in lower fines for many facilities.
In October 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services discouraged its regional offices from enforcing fines, even in the most serious health violations, if the error was a “one-time mistake.” The centers said that only intentional disregard for residents’ health and safety or systemic errors should still merit fines.
Toby Edelman, a senior attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy, said that the revised penalties have "pretty much emasculated enforcement, which was already weak.
Recent articles exploring this divisve issue can be found here: