Tacoma, Washington approves measure to fine nursing homes & assisted living communities for calling 911 to help lift seniors after falls

In an effort to deter nursing home staff from calling 911 when a resident falls, one Washington city has added a penalty.

Providers in Tacoma, WA, will now be forced to pay a fine of up to $850 in specific circumstances. For example, if the staffer calls the fire department to help lift a senior who has fallen, but does not require other medical care, the News Tribune reported.

Robin Dale, president and CEO of the Washington Health Care Association, said Monday that he is unaware of any other municipalities that impose such a fine in the state. His agency is exploring how to fight the new fine, he told McKnight’s Monday.

“WHCA, in its role as advocate for those who care for Tacoma’s elderly and most vulnerable, is deeply troubled by the ordinance,” Dale said. “Currently, we are evaluating the law and intend to explore all legal and/or legislative strategies to challenge this inequitable action by the city council.”

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