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Hobbs addresses health-care licensing issues in long-term care during State of the State

Coverage of aging is supported in part by AARP Arizona

Earlier this week, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs reaffirmed her commitment to improving long-term care during her State of the State address.

Late last year, Hobbs vowed to improve the quality of care in nursing homes and assisted living. While these changes will likely require legislative action, she touched on the issue in her speech.

Dana Marie Kennedy is the state director of AARP Arizona and was there. 

"She proposed a new package of bills to bring accountability to health-care licensing. She even talked [about] in her State of the State that we can only charge $500 per violation."

Kennedy says that amount is not always sufficient. Hobbs said she would empower the Department of Health Services to assess fines differently.

"I think that that is really great, again, empowering the Department of Health Services to assess fines based on the scope and severity of violations, rather than a cap," Kennedy said.

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Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.