MEPs strengthen the means of controls and sanctions for nursing homes

Posted Oct 26, 2022, 6:59 PMUpdated on Oct 26, 2022 at 7:34 PM

The electric atmosphere at the Palais-Bourbon did not prevent the deputies from adopting measures improving the controls of nursing homes. On Tuesday and Wednesday, MPs amended the Social Security financing bill (PLFSS) in order to strengthen the tools available to public authorities to ensure the proper use of public money paid to establishments welcoming the elderly. dependent.

The PLFSS for 2023 already planned to learn from the revelations of journalist Victor Castanet on Orpea. In a book published at the beginning of the year, the journalist had denounced the management of the group of retirement homes leading to the mistreatment of elderly residents. He also questioned the use of public money paid to establishments to treat residents.

Penalties multiplied by 5

Since then, the listed group, very indebted, has had financial difficulties – it has just placed itself under legal protection – the State is asking it for money and the government has promised to control nursing homes more carefully. In this vein, MEPs adopted several technical amendments aimed at avoiding blind spots in these controls and increasing the penalties that can be imposed on offending establishments.

An amendment thus increases to 5% of turnover (compared to 1% today) the maximum amount of penalties applicable to establishments in the event of non-compliance with the law. Another amendment specifies that if public funds have been paid in an unjustified manner, the National Solidarity Fund for Autonomy (CNSA) may request their repayment to natural persons and no longer only to legal persons.

The deputies also approved the extension of the powers of the Court of Auditors and the Regional Chambers of Auditors. The challenge is to allow them to control the headquarters of nursing home groups. The same amendment provides that the magistrates will be able to look into the accommodation revenue of nursing homes and the ancillary services billed to users. The government supported these developments. He took advantage of this discussion to announce that nearly 600 Ehpad had already been checked as part of the announced plan, with 3 referrals to the prosecutor.

Heckling in the hemicycle

The executive was however often heckled in the hemicycle on the PLFSS. The oppositions managed to have amendments adopted against his opinion. Like that of MP Caroline Fiat (LFI), asking the government to inform about the possible “introduction of a minimum ratio of supervision of residents by nursing staff”, a ratio which would be at least six professionals for ten residents in nursing homes.

This Wednesday afternoon, the deputies expected that the government, for lack of an absolute majority, would again engage its responsibility for the Social Security draft budget to have it adopted. After the government changed the order of examination of the articles, postponing the debates on the question of medical deserts until later, the parliamentarians multiplied the interventions, points of order, requests for reports, etc.

Enough to slowly advance the debates and make it very unlikely that the entire budget will be adopted within the officially allocated time. And to reinforce expectations of a rapid use of 49.3​.

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