On May 3, 2021, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey vetoed Senate Bill 1282, which would have reauthorized the Board of Examiners of Nursing Care Institution Administrators and Assisted Living Facility Managers (Board) for eight years. The veto letter cites “a disturbing and heartbreaking investigation by the Arizona Republic . . . into this Board that showed the Board is failing its duty.” The Board, made up primarily of administrators, licenses nursing home administrators and oversees the licensees.
On May 2, 2021, The Arizona Republic reported that the Board, after about a six-minute discussion, had approved a nursing home administrator license in February 2020 for Larry Michael Rasmussen, despite the fact that Rasmussen had two felony convictions for fraud and had opened a bank account with the name of a Japanese pharmaceutical company and deposited, and tried to use, a $1.7 million check from Walgreens payable to the company, among other activities that should have disqualified him. Rasmussen had worked in a long-term care facility for less than a year at the time he was given an administrator license.
Four months later, state investigators found that Rasmussen and his management team had required employees who had tested positive for COVID-19 to continue working at the short-staffed facility. By July 2020, more than 50 residents had become infected with COVID-19 and at least 15 had died. Rasmussen was replaced as administrator.
Nursing home administrators are key employees responsible for management of their facilities. While this may be an exceptionally troublesome case, the Center for Medicare Advocacy has expressed ongoing concerns about state licensure requirements and federal certification requirements for owners and managers of nursing facilities. The Arizona experience reminds us of the critical importance of administrators and the processes that licenses them.
May 13, 2021 – T. Edelman
 Office of the Governor Doug Ducey, “Governor Ducey Takes Action To Protect Arizona Seniors” (News Release, May 3, 2021); Caitlin McGlade, “After Republic investigation, governor shutters state board that licensed a felon to run nursing home where 15 died,” The Arizona Republic (May 4, 2021).
 Arizona Board of Examiners of Nursing Care Institution Administrators and Assisted Living Facility Managers, http://www.aznciaboard.us/
 Arizona Revised Code 36-446.94.A.1-4, https://casetext.com/statute/arizona-revised-statutes/title-36-public-health-and-safety/chapter-4-health-care-institutions/article-6-licensing-of-nursing-care-institution-administrators-and-certification-of-assisted-living-facilities-managers/section-36-44604-qualifications-period-of-validity-exemption
 42 C.F.R. §483.70(d)(2)