On Tuesday President Obama singed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. These pills contain the Nursing Home transparency and Improvement Act and the Elder Justice Act. They also will create a national program of criminal background checks on long-term care workers. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care has outlined many of the wonderful aspects of this legislation that was introduced by Illinois Representative Jan Schakowsky.
The Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement act will ensure that there is a public disclosure of nursing home owners and will establish internal procedures by nursing homes to reduce civil and criminal violations. By adding training programs for dementia care and abuse prevention, this legislation will help reduce nursing home negligence. It will also find ways to introduce technology into nursing homes. The nursing home legislation will also require a sixty-day advance notification of facility closure and authorization to continue Medicaid payments pending relocation of all residents. This portion of the legislation will be extremely applicable to Illinois due to the many recent nursing home closures.
The Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act will create a national program of criminal background checks on employees of long-term care providers. This legislation is long overdue and will help ensure that those with a felonious background will not be employed by a nursing home. Also the Elder Justice Act will help combat the growing problem of elder abuse. This act too was introduced by Representative Schakowsky. To learn more about the new nursing home legislation, please visit the NCCNHR’s homepage.