President Biden has announced a plan to boost nursing home staffing and oversight after more than 200,000 nursing home residents and staff have died from COVID-19, accounting for almost a quarter of all COVID deaths in the United States. Source.
The main points of the president’s plan include setting a minimum staffing level, reducing the number of shared rooms for residents, and cracking down on the poorest-performing nursing homes. The desired result from these policies is to reduce the risk of nursing home residents contracting COVID and other infectious diseases.
Nursing homes have been the epicenter for COVID outbreaks since the pandemic began, and they continue to be hot spots for the virus even after vaccines became available. Under President Biden’s plan, officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would propose minimum staffing levels within the next year, which would, in turn, improve the safety of residents by ensuring they all receive sufficient care and attention.
Tactics encouraging nursing homes to shift to single-occupancy rooms and to phase out rooms with multiple residents will also be implemented. Because having multiple residents in a single room could increase the likelihood of viruses and infections spreading, the White House believes that transitioning to single-resident rooms could help stop or slow the spread of COVID-19 and other infections.
President Biden will also call on Congress to provide almost $500 million for health and safety inspections in nursing homes. This is almost a twenty-five percent increase in spending for such inspections.
Finally, the administration vows to have tougher scrutiny of nursing home facilities and investors that have a track record of safety concerns. With new oversight measures and financial sanctions, the Biden administration hopes to increase performance and safety in nursing homes, with the promise of a larger fine if they do not comply and meet the proper standards.
If properly put into practice, this proposed plan could make nursing homes safer places for your loved ones to reside. When your loved ones can no longer care for themselves, you expect them to receive proper care in their nursing homes, but that is not always the case. If your loved one has suffered in their nursing home, contact Beltz & Beltz. Our team of experienced attorneys will fight to get your loved ones justice.