Violation of Duties to Patients

The Nursing Home Quality Protection Act, enacted in 2001, provides safeguards that are more stringent for our elder Americans from institutional elderly abuse and subpar nursing home care. It strives to provide better quality of care to nursing home residents.

The Act came about at the urging of consumer and elder advocates, media pressure, and government concerns and was supported by the Alliance for Retired Americans; Alzheimer's Association; American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); National Association of Social Workers (NASW); National Citizens'' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform (NCCNHR); National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM); and Service Employees'' International Union (SEIU).

Safeguards Include

1. Increased Funding

  • Increases resources for staff hiring and to comply with federal regulations.
  • Reinstates the "Boren Amendment" that provides for "reasonable and adequate" reimbursements for quality care.

2. Mandatory Nurse Staffing Levels

  • Nursing homes must maintain minimum staffing levels (i.e. all residents receive at least 4.13 hours of individual nursing care per day).
  • Secretary can modify or delay this staffing level if the quality of care is not compromised.
  • Staffing levels shall not fall below 3.45 hours.

3. Tougher Sanctions

  • Establishes a new system of "substandard care refunds" that were not used before.
  • Homes with violations that are required to refund money (ranging from $2,000 to $25,000) will not receive future payments if refunds are not paid within 30 days.
  • Nursing homes can appeal the refunds, but only after the refunds are paid.
  • Refunds are used to make grants to recruit and retain nursing staff, improve education and training of nursing staff, and improve workplace safety.

4. Increased Public Disclosure

  • More Internet disclosure about conditions in nursing homes (copies of inspection reports, complaints filed by residents and their families, summaries of enforcement actions taken against nursing homes, and staffing information).

5. Background Checks

  • Mandatory background checks for anyone applying to work at a home.

6. Greater Protection for Nursing Home Residents

  • Tightens up current law that leaves some nursing home residents outside the protection of federal health and safety standards.
  • Nursing home inspectors monitor the well-being of all residents, whether or not their care is paid for by Medicare and Medicaid.

Contact us today for more information regarding any violation of duties.

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