Nursing Home Advocates Look To Make Long-Term Reform To Industry
The American Health Care Association and LeadingAge Monday released reform proposals for the nursing home industry that address quality of care, workforce challenges, oversight and modernization. The federal government has offered temporary relief to the industry through the COVID-19 pandemic but the proposed reforms aim to enact long-term change.
Through the joint proposal, dubbed the Care for Our Seniors Act, the nursing home advocates are calling on lawmakers to “help resolve systemic challenges.”
“The pandemic has been an unprecedented tragedy with long-term care facilities being at the epicenter of the crisis,” Debbie Meade, chair of the board of directors of AHCA, said in a statement. “We have seen long-standing challenges exacerbated among our facilities and without serious reform, we risk more crises in the future. The Care For Our Seniors Act pinpoints the biggest issues facing our industry and provides bold, transformative and meaningful solutions that can ensure something like the COVID-19 pandemic never happens again.”
AHCA and LeadingAge want to see care quality improve through clearer standards for infection preventionists. They recommended requiring each nursing home to have a registered nurse on staff at all times and mandating that all facilities have a 30-day supply of personal protective equipment.
To address workforce issues, they suggested implementing a plan to attract, retain and train more long-term care workers. The associations also want to establish a resident-driven system by creating a process to turn around or close underperforming nursing homes and by adding customer satisfaction to CMS’ five-star rating system.
The groups suggested nursing homes could move toward modernizing facilities by conducting a national study on how to shift to more private rooms.