Families for Better Care, a nonprofit resident advocacy group, recently released its findings on the monetary penalties, totaling more than $100 million from 2012 through 2014, and how states ranked in fines assessed for delivering poor nursing home care.
“The staggering $100 million figure in nursing home fines portrays a marketplace that is chronically failing to protect the welfare of elderly consumers,” said Brian Lee, the organization’s executive director.
According to the data, all but two states (South Dakota and Wyoming) received fines, with Kentucky topping the list. Over the past three years, the top-cited deficiencies included accidents (7,987 deficiencies, infection control (6,906 deficiencies), sanitary conditions (5,969 deficiencies) and quality of care (5,716 deficiencies). Other monetary penalties were levied because of improperly installed wiring and equipment, lacking automatic sprinkler maintenance, corridor/hallway doors that block smoke and inadequate fire extinguishing systems.
“What these figures show,” Lee tells Long-Term Living, “is that there seems to be some real regulatory enforcement disparity from state to state. And when that occurs, residents are in danger of harm.” He urges lawmakers and public officials to toughen up enforcement to ensure that loved ones are safe from abuse, neglect and other mistreatment.