Congress Seeks to Improve Level of Care at Nursing Homes

A bill to increase nursing home transparency and improve overall quality was recently introduced in Congress and is set to be heard by the Senate Committee on Finance. The Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act seeks to reform the ailing nursing home industry that appears to be providing a perpetually deteriorating level of care.

The Act’s many provisions aim to improve transparency in the ownership and operation of nursing homes, requires disclosure of how Medicare and Medicaid funds are used, and establishes an independent monitoring system for nursing home chains. Further, the NHTIA would collect more accurate information about nursing home staff and would implement a new consumer complaint process that would protect residents from retaliation by the nursing facility. Finally, the bill would increase the availability of federal civil monetary remedies for the first time since 1987.

The NHTIA is a step in the right direction toward supporting nursing home patients both before and after an injury has occurred. If passed, the bill will likely improve the level of care given to nursing home residents and will allow injured residents to receive more adequate compensation.

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