Fine To Nursing Home Reduced Due To Changing Administration Rules

The Trump administration has not been lauded for its stances on imposing fines to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. In fact, many in the industry believe that the lessening of fines and continuing to allow nursing homes to have arbitration clauses has not been a good thing. The Obama administration was tougher on these types of facilities – outlawing nursing home contracts that had arbitration clauses and imposing fines on the date of the violation. The Des Moines Register reports on an Iowa nursing home facing a fine that would have been much larger under the Obama administration.

The federal government fined the Timely Mission nursing home in Buffalo Center $77,462 in the death of 87-year-old Virginia Olthoff. Oldhoff died of dehydration and was in severe pain in the days leading up to her death. She may have gone several days without any fluids at all.

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals had proposed a fine of $26,750, but never imposed the fine.

Instead, they allowed the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to take over the case.

The fine is subject to a 35% reduction so long as the facility decide within 60 day not to appeal the decision.

The fine is significantly less than it would have been under the CMS guidelines during the Obama administration. Under Obama, CMS imposed fines from the date that the violation was committed until the date that the violation was corrected.

Under the current administration, CMS imposes fines from the date that inspectors verify the violation.

In this case, Olthoff passed away on February 27th, but it wasn’t until May 24th that CMS inspectors verified that the home did not meet standards of care.

Had the larger fine been imposed, it would have been in excess of $870,000.