State Proposes Legislation to Protect Residents of Long Term Care

Early next year, lawmakers in one state will consider a proposal to require workers in nursing homes to undergo background checks, in an effort to provide protection for elderly long term care residents.

The Attorney General of the state has asked an oversight panel that reviews licensing agencies to focus its scrutiny on  the body that has disciplinary power over nursing home administrators. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, between one and two million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection.

The legislation proposes that health care workers such as nurses and administrators undergo criminal background checks when they apply for a license. The Attorney General is also proposing that legislators change state law to extend whistleblower protections to nursing home administrators and staff who report misconduct. State law already protects whistleblowers who report health and safety violations from employment-related retaliation; and those who report Medicaid fraud can receive a portion of Medicaid's civil recovery. The proposed legislation would further encourage whistleblowers to report concerns. For more, read the story.

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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