The Quality Care for Nursing Home Residents Act of 2019 (H.R. 5216 and S.2943) was introduced by United States Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Senator Richard Blumenthal. The bill focuses on issues caused by understaffing in nursing home facilities.
Nursing home understaffing leaves vulnerable residents without the care they require. Many elderly people need consistent medical attention and supervision. This may include assistance with hygiene and daily tasks, physical therapy and other movement exercises, medication administration, and the use of medical devices. Without sufficient staffing, an elder care facility can easily fail to meet the needs of all their patients.
To address these issues, the Quality Care for Nursing Home Residents Act would establish legal requirements for staffing in elder care facilities. Nursing homes that receive funding through Medicare and Medicaid would need to meet certain staffing quotas. To ensure the increased staff would be able to provide patients with the proper care, the legislation orders more comprehensive training requirements. Elder care facilities would also be required to have informed consent before administering psychotropic drugs to patients. Additionally, the legislation will establish protections for people who report abusive and/or neglectful conditions in nursing homes.
The legislation was proposed amid the Trump administration’s attempts to decrease nursing home regulations that were established during Obama’s presidential term. According to a report from NPR, the administration claims that the regulation roll backs will “save nursing homes more than $600 million a year,” with the intent of redistributing the funds toward care improvements. However, the plan does not require that funds are distributed towards such programs.
The administration also wants to change how antipsychotic drugs are prescribed to nursing home patients. The use of these drugs can be fatal for people with dementia. Currently, “if a nursing home resident gets a new prescription for an antipsychotic, it can't be renewed after two weeks without a doctor's exam. But under the proposed rule, the doctor could keep renewing the prescription without seeing the patient again for a month or two,” reported NPR.
In addition to Congresswoman Schakowsky and Senator Blumenthal, the Quality Care for Nursing Home Residents Act is sponsored by 25 other members of the House of Representatives and 2 other members of the Senate. The legislation is still awaiting a vote.
The Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP legal team represents nursing home abuse and neglect victims and their families. Our lawyers are committed to helping those who have been harmed by the negligence of elder care facilities recover the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one was harmed because of inadequate elder care, contact our firm to discuss your case.
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