Congress: Nursing Home Corruption Requires New Federal-State Partnership

The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held hearings recently in which recommendations were made for major federal and state initiatives to protect patients from fraud and financial collapse at nursing homes owned and operated by large national corporations and holding companies. 

Lawmakers received testimony advocating a powerful federal-state partnership to investigate and fight nursing home corruption, including regular financial audits, appointment of receivers in cases of gross financial mismanagement, bans on corporate profit-taking and self-dealing, mandatory levels of insurance coverage, and regulation of management companies. 

"Such firms often place profits ahead of patients, emphasizing short-term financial goals instead of long-term health care quality," testified Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.  Blumenthal added that the current system for inspecting nursing homes is ineffective and inconsistent and needs more federal-state coordination and collaboration.  Read more about the Congressional hearings.

I like Blumenthal's recommendations, as well as Congress' interest in fixing an industry that has long been broken and has been permitted to place profits over the welfare of their patients.  Hopefully, greater integrity and more accountability and transparency in the nursing home industry will translate into better care -- fewer pressure ulcers (bed sores, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers), falls, broken bones, and medication errors.  Better care = safer patients = happier families.
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Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia 

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