Regulators Need To Issue Fines in Nursing Home Cases
A recent Government Accountability Office report demonstrates that HHS "is failing in its duty to make sure that nursing homes correct their shortcomings and then continue to meet quality standards," a Boston Globe editorial states.
"All too often, officials impose minimal penalties even on nursing homes that regularly mistreat patients, with the result that such homes move in and out of compliance with federal requirements," the Globe states. The editorial continues, "Nursing homes will improve beyond the minimum levels of required care if more homes participate in the HHS Nursing Home Quality Initiative, which encourages voluntary compliance."
Congress should "insist that [HHS] be more willing to close down poorly managed homes or exact stiff fines that will be more than just a cost of doing business," the editorial states. The Globe concludes that HHS "must continue to insist on basic standards" and be prepared to take action against nursing homes that do not meet them (Boston Globe, 4/27).