The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently unveiled major new protections for nursing home residents. This 400-page proposed rule is the first comprehensive update of nursing home regulations since 1991, during which time the Medicare nursing home population has nearly tripled to 1.8 million people.
The proposed new rules attempt to tackle a number of problems that have plagued nursing home facilities for years, including abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, exploitation, and misappropriation of resident property. Additionally, under the new rules, nursing homes would not be able to hire employees with a history of professional discipline, and must create and enforce policies to prevent abuse and misconduct.
The regulations proposed by CMS target specific areas of nursing home care that have been problematic. For example, it would require pharmacists to review patients’ charts every six months and report irregularities, in an attempt to prevent unnecessary use of antibiotics and antipsychotics. Regulators also want to require nursing homes to conduct assessments of their patient needs and capabilities, in order to ensure they have sufficient staffing for their needs. Most nursing homes do already do this, but it is currently not mandatory, say San Francisco nursing home abuse attorneys.
Under the new regulations, nursing homes would also be required to report major changes in patients’ physical or mental condition to state regulators. It would also set a baseline of care that patients would be required to receive within 48 hours of admission. CMS is also asking for feedback on mandatory qualifications for certain employees.
A leading trade group for nursing homes, the American Health Care Association, says that nursing homes have already begun to implement many of these changes, but balks at the cost of the proposed mandate (an estimated $730 million in the first year and $640 million annually thereafter for the nation’s 16,000 nursing homes). Some of the recommendations are mandated by the Affordable Care Act, while others have been recommended by patient advocates.
Nursing homes provide both short-term care for patients recovering from hospital stays, as well as long-term care for individuals who can no longer care for themselves, according to San Francisco nursing home abuse attorneys.
Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles all types of elder abuse cases, including nursing home abuse lawsuits. If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or elder abuse, please contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.