If you or any other employee reasonably suspects that a crime (like billing fraud) has taken place at your workplace, then you must report it to at least one law enforcement agency. What happens if you don’t? Up to $200,000 in fines.
Evidently nursing home managers have been leery of reporting a resident who has abused or beaten another resident. Mangers don’t want the negative publicity, and don’t want law enforcement getting involved in what he nursing home views as “a medical issue”. So, if you are employed at nursing home you must report any action by a manager or resident that you believe is a crime.
But what if you or a co-worker DO report something that you reasonably believed was a crime – but it turns out it wasn’t. Your boss gets mad and starts harassing you, and threatens to write you up for doing your job the way you have always done it. This is retaliation, and your boss at the long term care facility cannot legally retaliate against you for reporting the suspected crime, even if you were wrong.
The new anti-retaliation provision in the Health Care Reform Bill calls for fining bosses who retaliation up to $200,000 and/or suspending the facilities federal funding for up to two years (which would probably put a lot of facilities out of business).
Finally, all nursing homes must now have a standardized complaint form with a formal procedure in place to resolve complaints. Again, retaliation against anyone who fills out a complaint form is prohibited by law.