How Do States Spend Fines Collected from Nursing Homes?

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<p>After decades of abuse, neglect, and inadequate care, the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act established quality standards and basic rights for nursing home residents. Since then, facilities are periodically reviewed and can be subject to monetary fines, among other penalties, if they are found to be out of compliance with the Act's requirements.<br><br>States, however, receive very little guidance on how to use this money once it is collected, finds a <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=25986&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D436231%26%23doc436231">Commonwealth Fund-supported study</a> published today in <em>The Gerontologist.</em> Thirty-two states spent $28 million, out of a total of $61 million in collected penalties over the 1999-2005 period, on various projects to improve nursing home care. While many of these efforts--from nursing home staff training programs to resident-centered care initiatives--had value, most were short-term and not formally evaluated for effectiveness.<br><br>Policymakers and stakeholder groups, the researchers say, should focus more attention on how this underutilized resource can be used to spur improvement in the quality of nursing home care.</p>