Kansas nursing homes deal with spike in fines, citations

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -

Kansas nursing homes are facing a spike in fines and citations industry members consider heavy-handed enforcement of federal regulations.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the Legislature's KanCare oversight committee heard concerns from nursing home industries on Wednesday. Industry members say rising citations and penalties from regulatory enforcement surveys make it tough to stay in business and provide care to patients.

A trade organization representing not-for-profit nursing homes called LeadingAge Kansas says federal fines levied against nursing homes for non-compliance have risen nearly 8,900 percent since 2012.

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LeadingAge officials say the increased fines don't result from a lack of quality at nursing homes and add to significant challenges the institutions already face, such as limited resources, a small workforce and slow Medicaid reimbursements.

An advocate for seniors says she thinks enforcement is instead lacking and that citations are underreported.

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