During a State of the Union address, President Biden formally announced an initiative aimed at regulating nursing homes more aggressively, with the main goals of making sure nursing homes are properly staffed and publicizing information about nursing home operations and finances. This proposal seems fitting following the sometimes wretched state of American nursing home care that was in the spotlight in 2020 as COVID-19 swept through nursing home facilities across the country. Source.
One important aspect of Biden’s proposed agenda is the requirement of gathering and publishing more information about exactly who owns and manages American nursing homes, and how their finances are being managed. Advocates for this proposal are concerned that owners are underfunding nursing home care in order to create a bigger profit, but this has been difficult to prove without access to detailed financial information. With increased transparency, corporations will not have anywhere to hide and will be forced to uphold a better standard of care.
Perhaps the most concrete part of Biden’s proposal is the promise to improve staffing levels in nursing home facilities. Research has repeatedly linked lower staffing levels to a lower standard of care for residents. Under Biden’s plan, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would have one year to reexamine the staffing issue in nursing homes and create a standard for staffing requirements.
Nursing homes are far from thrilled with this proposal, claiming that, while they would be thrilled to take on more staff to care for residents, there is not enough money in their budgets to take on more staff, especially when they have to compete with other industries offering more competitive pay. While there may be some merit to this argument, more transparency on finances and exactly how much profit owners are taking would shed more light on the validity of this argument.
This new proposal is certainly a step in the right direction when it comes to nursing home care. With more transparent reporting and higher staffing standards and requirements, it is more likely that residents will receive better care while in nursing homes. If your loved one is not being properly cared for, contact the personal injury attorneys at Beltz & Beltz. Our team has many years of experience representing those who have suffered from nursing home abuse, and know what it takes to get your loved ones the justice they deserve.
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