Not reporting COVID-19 data to the state health authorities has proven costly for two dozen nursing homes in Maryland. 

The state’s Office of Health Care Quality fined 24 facilities for failing to submit daily reporting information, the Washington Post reported. The fines were between $250 and $750 and were handed down in early May.

The punishments are a far cry from the more than $62,000 levied by the federal government against a Pennsylvania nursing home recently for infection control deficiencies at the facility during the pandemic. 

The state requires nursing homes to submit COVID-19 death and infection data daily to its health information system, which was launched about three weeks ago. Facilities were given a grace period of “several days” after the system was launched before fines started to be assessed, the report explained. 

Providers, however, argued that the system didn’t issue receipts in its first few weeks and nursing homes didn’t know if their information was being received by the state. 

“There likely were instances where nursing homes did not file the CRISP report on time because they were actually focused on real-time hands-on care,” said Joseph DeMattos, president of Health Facilities Association of Maryland. 

About 98% of providers are complying with the reporting mandates, according to the state. 

The federal government also recently launched its COVID-19 reporting process for nursing homes. Providers face up to $1,000 weekly fines for not reporting infections in a timely manner.