Facility fines, penalties yield cash bonus for states

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States generate a lot of revenue from fines and federal and state civil money penalties collected from nursing homes, a new study finds. They, in turn, use the funds to improve the quality of facility care.

In 2004, 43 states collected a total of $21 million from more than 3,000 federal and state penalties and fines, according to a study in the December issue of the Gerontologist. Forty-two states had $60.5 million in fund accounts from penalties and fines available in 2005, and 32 states spent $28 million on a wide range of projects, the study said.

The study also looked at how states use the funds: 15 states spent $17.9 million on survey and certification activities, 19 states spent $5.6 million on provider projects, 6 states spent $1.3 million on advocacy projects, and 12 states spent $2.7 million for other projects.