On February 28, 2022, the White House published a Fact Sheet outlining major reforms for nursing homes to address the substandard quality that our firm’s nursing home neglect lawyers see all too frequently.
These necessary reforms will be focused on:
1) Provision of sufficient, trained staff,
2) Accountability for care and services and
3) Transparency of information for the public.
Our nursing home neglect lawyers have litigated many cases in which understaffed and poor-quality nursing homes fail to provide adequate services to their residents, resulting in serious injury.
In the fact sheet, Biden highlighted the tragic impact of substandard care in nursing homes during the pandemic. Over the past two years, more than 200,000 resident and staff deaths from COVID occurred in nursing homes, which accounted for approximately 25% of total COVID deaths in the US. Many of these deaths could be attributed to substandard care. In fact, 82% of nursing homes were found deficient in infection control and prevention practices during Medicare and Medicaid surveys. The nursing home neglect lawyers at our firm believe that substandard care is unacceptable and will fight for families who have been harmed by nursing home neglect.
The Biden-Harris Administration announced new steps through the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to crack down on predatory owners and operators who seek to maximize profits at the expense of vulnerable nursing home residents. He specified multiple new initiatives to prevent nursing home neglect and ensure quality care including:
Establishment of a federal minimum nursing home staffing requirement: CMS intends to propose minimum standards for staffing within one year. Nursing home staffing is the measure that most closely impacts the quality of care provided at a nursing home. Biden stated that nursing homes would be held accountable for failing to meet staffing standards. This initiative is pivotal in ending chronic understaffing at some facilities. If your loved one has been injured by a fall or pressure ulcer at an understaffed facility, the nursing home neglect lawyers at our firm can help.
Adequately Fund Inspections: Nursing Homes: Nursing home complaints have skyrocketed over the past seven years, while inspections have remained stagnant. Biden has called on Congress to funnel $500 million to CMS to support health and safety inspections at nursing homes.
Increased Financial Penalties and Sanctions: CMS will explore re-instituting per-day fines for non-compliant nursing homes. Additional, Biden is calling on Congress to raise the dollar limit on per-instance financial penalties from $21,000 to $1 million for under-performing nursing homes. This initiative is a clear indicator that the Administration will not tolerate poor care and nursing home neglect for frail and elderly residents residing in long term care facilities.
Improve Transparency: CMS will implement Affordable Care Act requirements regarding transparency for corporate ownership of nursing homes. Additionally, CMS will enhance the Nursing Home Care Compare website with verifiable data regarding facility staffing. Priority will be given to examination of private equity investors, REITs, and investment ownership in nursing homes and informing the public when these entities fail to adequately serve residents.
Improve Staffing and Workforce Sustainability: CMS will encourage States to tie Medicaid payments to clinical staff wages and benefits to strengthen the nursing home workforce. Additionally, CMS and the Department of Labor will collaborate with apprenticeship programs, training intermediaries and labor unions to recruit, train, and transition workers into careers in nursing homes.
Ensuring Pandemic and Emergency Preparedness: Biden will continue to focus on COVID testing and vaccinations in long-term care facilities. CMS will increase standards for on-site infection preventionists at nursing homes, review and consider updates to pandemic and emergency preparedness standards, and integrate new standards of care into federal nursing home requirements for infection control and other areas.
The nursing home neglect lawyers at our firm understand the plight of the nation’s nursing home residents. No one should be subject to neglect and substandard care in long term care facilities. Our attorneys will partner with you to take a stand against underperforming nursing homes and seek compensation for their injuries. Call us today or send us a message to speak directly with an nursing home neglect lawyer.