One state legislature currently is considering a bill that would permit reduction or elimination of fines against nursing homes.
“I don’t think residents’ health and safety would be helped with
this bill, and it may be harmed,” said the executive
director of a watchdog group. “What it
does create is an even greater incentive for facilities to continue
until they are caught.”
The state senator who introduced the bill said he did so to codify what has been an
informal negotiating system involving the state's department of health and nursing homes that are disciplined for care-related
He said the bill would help fix problems in nursing homes. The bill
is backed by the nursing home industry, whose spokesman said the state
focuses too much on punishing nursing homes rather than helping them
The nursing home industry made more than $25,000 in direct and
in-kind contributions to the state senator's 2008 re-election campaign, but
he denied those played a role in his sponsoring the bill.
The watchdog agency said Tuesday it would be “morally repugnant” to reduce or
eliminate a fine if abuse or neglect in a nursing home leads to the
rape or death of a resident, yet that would be allowed under the bill. For more, read the story.
Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is
dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing
home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke,
Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.
Posted on Wed, May 6, 2009
by Robert Carter