Report: Monetary penalties, fines improve nursing home care

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The use of civil money penalties (CMP) and fines against nursing facilities is a largely untapped resource to improve quality of care, according to a new report.

Homes that violate good standards of care are hit with the penalties or fines. Collected CMP funds then form a pool of money that can be used in innovative ways to improve the quality of life for nursing home residents. But those funds have largely not been taken advantage of, according to a study by the Long Term Care Community Coalition/University of California and supported by The Commonwealth Fund.

Charlene Harrington, co-project director and University of California professor, noted that plenty of money is available to make improvements. "Forty-six states reported having $60 million available in accounts from CMPs/fines in 2005," she said.