In the Courts: Appeals Board Upholds $10,000 Penalty for Employee's Theft from Resident Trust Accounts

December 28, 2018 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Departmental Appeals Board (DAB) has upheld a $10,000 civil monetary penalty against a skilled nursing facility based on its employee's theft of as much as $3,117 from residents' trust accounts. In so finding, DAB affirmed the decision of the administrative law judge.

The facility had an account separate from its operating accounts in which it held residents' personal funds in trust. It maintained a security bond for the entire amount of the funds held in the trust account. Written policies addressed residents' trust funds and underscored residents' rights to be free from misappropriation of their property. For each check drawn from the resident trust account, the facility was to keep a copy of the check and the authorization form, which required signatures by the resident or legal representative and two witnesses. One employee was to manage the account, and another was to balance and reconcile the account's statements each month. The facility also sent quarterly statements to residents...

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