New Tennessee law to crack down on unlicensed nursing homes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation Tuesday that will create a statewide registry of unlicensed adult care facilities and increase penalties for facilities that continue to operate without a license.

HB630/SB439 establishes a searchable registry within the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability and shifts the criminal penalty for operating an unlicensed facility after it is registered on the registry from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class D felony.

“The last thing for aging Tennessees to worry about is being taken advantage of by the very people who are supposed to be taking care of them,” said TCAD executive director James Dunn. “This law will provide transparency to Tennessee families when attempting to care for a loved one and deter habitual unlicensed operators seeking to take advantage of our most vulnerable.”

The law will come into force on July 1, 2022.

According to the state’s Elder Abuse Task Force 2022 report, older and vulnerable adults living in unlicensed facilities are particularly vulnerable to neglect, abuse, and financial exploitation.

The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability led a multi-agency task force in 2021 to address cases of unlicensed facilities statewide. According to a state release, the task force has dealt with over 100 identified unlicensed facilities across the state since January 2021. New Tennessee law to crack down on unlicensed nursing homes

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