Elder Justice Act Continues to Move Forward

According to a press release in Washington yesterday, health care reform will create significant improvements and changes in long-term care. NCCNHR, which led the

effort to pass the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, championed provisions in the bill that will increase transparency of nursing home operations and quality; improve the safety of people receiving care in long-term care facilities and their homes; and strengthen agencies that investigate neglect and abuse of the elderly, including the long-term care ombudsman program.

The health care legislation incorporates several bills including the Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act, the Elder Justice Act, and the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act. It also includes provisions to improve training of the long-term care work force and expand public coverage of long-term care outside nursing homes.

The Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act will require disclosure of the wide array of individuals and entities that own, operate, and finance nursing homes, and it will require nursing homes to escrow fines if they appeal violations. It also will provide consumers ready access to information that is now unavailable or hard to obtain, such as accurate information about staffing levels and turn over rates; sanctions against facilities; and inspection reports.

The Elder Justice Act will improve training of long-term care ombudsmen and other public agencies to investigate neglect and abuse. It also requires reporting neglect and abuse in long-term care facilities. The Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act provides for criminal background checks on workers who provide long-term care services. For more, read the press release.

 


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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