Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Trump Administration Scales Back Nursing Home Safety Violation Fines

Published on Dec 29, 2017 at 11:54 am in Nursing Home Abuse.

Over the holiday weekend, the Trump administration scaled back the guidelines for issuing fines against nursing homes that violate safety and health regulations which aim to keep residents safe. This scaling back is part of a broader shift to “relax” various Medicare penalty protocols that was requested by the American Health Care Association, the main organization that speaks on behalf of the nursing home industry.

The organization argued that health and safety inspectors were too focused on finding wrongdoings at nursing homes instead of assisting the facilities themselves, but the violations and fines are a crucial part of ensuring that wrongdoings don’t happen at all—wrongdoings like neglect, abuse, and mistreatment that can endanger the lives of every resident.

The violation system has been proven to work. The New York Times found that since 2013, almost 6,500 nursing homes—four out of every 10—have been cited at least once for a serious violation. These violations commonly include failing to protect residents from avoidable accidents, mistreatment, abuse, neglect, and injuries like bedsores which are often a direct result of neglect.

Medicare acted by fining approximately two-thirds of those facilities. These fines force facilities to take direct actions to curb procedures, policies, and hiring protocols that endanger residents. After the fines are paid, the violations are then corrected. Without these fines, many nursing homes would have continued allowing abuse and neglect to occur.

According to the Times, the new relaxed Medicare guidelines have been slowly implemented over the course of the year. These guidelines, in particular, discourage safety inspectors and regulators from fining nursing homes that act negligently towards residents in certain situations—even in cases where a resident’s death results. The guidelines will also lower the fines themselves.

Nursing home resident advocates, civil rights advocates, and Medicare advocates argue that the new guidelines are a risky move. During a time when a solid portion of our state-regulated nursing homes are already struggling to provide an acceptable standard of care for residents, these relaxed guidelines give facilities permission to cut even more corners which may place patients at risk for injury or even death.

Our elderly population deserves better care—not worse. Long term care facilities shouldn’t be given permission to “relax” regarding the crucial task of prioritizing patient health and safety. Unless we can hold nursing homes and employees fully accountable for negligence and mistreatment where and when it occurs, we cannot place our trust in these facilities. These rolled back regulations are just one example of how loss of corporate accountability can place the defenseless at risk.

Civil lawsuits, such as those that are filed after a loved one is abused or neglected in a facility, are another. Laws and regulations aimed to uphold the rights of individuals who do not always have a voice—those who need our protection most in the case of nursing home abuse and neglect—should be protected, not broken down.


Meet Your Team

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Legal & Firm News

When to See a Neurologist After a Car Accident

Doctors who specialize in disorders and injuries affecting the brain, spinal cord, and surrounding muscles and nerves are referred to as neurologists. For those involved in a car accident, visiting a neurologist may not be something that is initially considered. But too many people ignore the signs that their accident caused nerve damage, a spinal […]

Read More

How Climate Change May Affect Our Roads, Highways, and the Frequency of Car Accidents

On October 7, 2021, the White House announced the release of Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans from more than 20 federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, Commerce, Homeland Security, and Transportation. These Climate Adaptation Plans detailed the methods that each agency’s facilities and operations would adopt in order to become increasingly resilient […]

Read More

Examining the Rise of Active Duty Military Suicides

For the past two decades, the question has been asked more and more frequently by researchers and the general public alike. Why is the suicide rate so high in the military? The Department of Defense Annual Suicide Report released in September 2021 showed an increase of 41.4% in active duty service member deaths by suicide […]

Read More