The American Health Care Association, which represents 12,000 facilities that care for the elderly and disabled, released this statement in response to Jeff Rossen's report about theft in nursing homes:
“Any fraud or misuse of resident trust funds is very disappointing. For any individual to break this trust is a terrible situation that we would never condone. Fortunately, we don’t see misuse of trust funds happen often in our member centers.
“Nursing centers are required to have a surety bond in case something occurs so the resident never has his or her account threatened if money is stolen or lost. The surety bond provides protection to a resident in the case that funds are misused. In addition, resident trust funds are audited by surveyors, and typically, nursing centers reconcile and self-audit these accounts monthly.
“Even so, it is important for all nursing centers to ensure appropriate checks and balances are in place to guarantee proper management of resident trust funds. As a profession, we have collaborated to build regulatory safeguards with the federal government, shared best practices among our long term care centers and offered business operations training tools. We support continued efforts to strengthen the regulations and oversight that can prevent bad actors from exploiting the frail and elderly.”