Under the Trump administration, nursing homes in Mississippi and across the U.S. receive lower fines for committing violations that endanger or injure residents than they did under the Obama administration. The fine reduction is the result of the Trump administration bending to nursing home industry pressure to change the way fines are assessed.
According to federal records, the average nursing home fine is $28,405 under the Trump administration. In comparison, the average fine for nursing homes was $41,260 in 2016, which was the last year of the Obama administration. The reason for the decrease is because nursing homes are now issued a single fine for around two-thirds of all infractions. However, under the Obama administration, nursing homes were slapped with a fine for each day they were in violation of a regulation. The fines were designed to crack down on health services violations and encourage compliance. Now that the fine structure has been changed, health care experts fear that nursing homes will have less incentive to ensure that residents receive quality care and are kept safe.
In addition to changing the way fines are assessed, the Trump administration also placed an 18-month enforcement moratorium on eight new rules regarding the health and safety of residents. Further, it revoked an Obama administration regulation that banned nursing homes from forcing residents to settle disputes via arbitration instead of going to court. The moves are consistent with the Trump administration’s reputation for introducing regulations that are friendly to the health care industry.
Families who suspect their loved one is suffering from nursing home neglect could turn to a personal injury attorney for help. The attorney could investigate the case and determine if a reasonable standard of care is being met. If not, it may be advisable to file a lawsuit seeking compensation.