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Congressional Leaders Criticize Proposed Nursing Home Rules

Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jul 29, 2016 in Nursing Home Abuse

woman in wheelchairThirty-two members of Congress signed a letter criticizing nursing home regulations proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The letter, addressed to CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt, claims that the CMS' proposal did not do enough to address a number of prevalent nursing home care concerns, including the use of forced-arbitration agreements, staffing concerns and quality issues.

Holding Nursing Homes Accountable

While the CMS' proposal did address several issues, Rep. Jan Schakowsky claimed in the letter the that the agency still needs tougher rules to hold nursing homes accountable for the level of care they provide to seniors.

The letter was critical of the CMS' decision to continue allowing pre-dispute arbitration agreements, provided that nursing homes explain the agreements to residents and do not make them part of the admission process. Congressional leaders claim that this will cause more problems and they want these agreements eliminated.

Congressional leaders also want the CMS to require nursing homes have a registered nurse on staff at all times and that they implement staff-resident ratios for direct care nurses. This could hopefully help address forms of nursing home abuse and neglect that are caused by understaffing or nurse error.

Lawmakers also claim that the CMS' rules do not address "resident dumping," a disturbing trend where nursing homes discharge patients who need a high level of care so they can have more patients who require less care and make more money for the nursing home.

Congressional leaders think the CMS should combat this trend by instituting an appeals process for residents who are denied readmission into a nursing home.

The CMS' proposed rules represent the largest regulatory overhaul for nursing homes since 1991. The overhaul was announced on July 13 at the White House Conference on Aging, and the new rules should be finalized by September.

If your elderly loved ones have suffered nursing home abuse, contact the Watertown nursing home negligence lawyers at D'Amico & Pettinicchi today. Our caring attorneys will help you secure fair compensation.

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