We have a huge opportunity to get meaningful nursing home reforms passed into law!
Congress is getting together to pass a budget reconciliation package and there are several important nursing home provisions, from the “Nursing Home Improvement and Accountability Act of 2021” (HR 5169) currently included and being marked up. Language from the Elder Justice Reauthorization Act (HR 4969) is included as well. We encourage you to reach out to your representatives and ask them to support these provisions!
The nursing home provisions will promote:
- Improved accuracy and reliability of data submitted to CMS through the payroll-based journal and quality measures or resident assessment data. This is important for obtaining accurate data on staffing levels and resident outcomes. Additionally, this data is also used for determining nursing home star ratings through the federal government’s 5-Star Rating System – consumers deserve accurate data to make informed choices about where to turn for care.
- Auditing of cost reports. This is necessary to ensure transparency for the billions of dollars of public funds the facilities receive and help determine whether these funds are being used appropriately for the care of residents.
- Review of and improvements to the survey and enforcement system. This is needed to hold facilities accountable for meeting federal quality standards.
- A process for establishing minimum staffing standards in federal regulations. Consumer Voice has been advocating for minimum staffing standards for years. This is the opportunity to start the process and ensure adequate staffing for nursing home consumers.
The Elder Justice Act provides:
- Increased funding for the long-term care (LTC) ombudsman program, to support training and response to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
- Funding for long term care workforce development in the form of grants to states and territories for wage subsidies, student loan repayment or tuition assistance, childcare, and transportation assistance.
- Grants and training for community-based organizations: to conduct outreach and interventions for individuals at risk for social isolation or loneliness.
Tell Congress to support the nursing home provisions and Elder Justice Act provisions included in the current budget and reconciliation package.