Congress Wants Tougher Nursing Home Regulations
Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Jul 27, 2016 in Nursing Home Injury or Death
Thirty-two members of Congress signed a letter demanding tougher nursing home regulations from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In the letter, congressional leaders say that the CMS' proposed overhaul of nursing home regulations does not address staffing or quality issues.
The letter acknowledged some of the positive aspects of the CMS' proposed nursing home regulations, but was also critical of a proposed rule that will allow pre-dispute arbitration agreements as long as they are not part of admission requirements and providers explain them to residents.
Congressional leaders argue that this will only make things worse and that these agreements should be scrapped entirely.
Improving Quality of Care
In the letter, Rep. Jan Schakowsky says that the CMS needs to strengthen its rules to hold nursing homes accountable for the quality of care seniors are receiving.
The letter states that the CMS should require nursing homes to always have a registered nurse on staff and to stick to certain staff-resident ratios for direct care nurses.
Lawmakers also want an appeals process for residents who have been denied readmission into a nursing home. This could help reduce the practice of "resident dumping," where nursing homes discharge patients who require a lot of care in favor of patients who require less care and are more lucrative for the facility.
The CMS is in the midst of the largest regulatory overhaul for nursing homes since 1991. The agency unveiled the 403-page regulation overhaul on July 13 at the White House Conference on Aging. The CMS is expected to finalize proposed regulations by September.
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