On November 19, 2021, the United States House of Representatives passed its version of the Build Back Better Act, which includes five important provisions to improve protections for nursing home residents. The bill would require:
- Nursing homes to have a registered nurse on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week;
- Staffing studies to determine a recommended minimum level of staffing hours for nursing homes and the commitment to implement those recommendations;
- Auditing of Medicare cost reports submitted by nursing homes to ensure accuracy;
- Improving the reliability of nursing facility data collection; and
- Improving survey and enforcement practices.
The legislation is now before the U.S. Senate, which is expected to act on it before the end of the year. Senators are facing pressure from the nursing home industry to dilute the House version and take out the staffing improvement protections.
CANHR strongly supports the nursing home resident protections and has joined with over 80 organizations in calling on Senate leadership to help enact these provisions. You can help by urging Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla of California to support including all five of the nursing home resident protections in the Senate’s version of the Build Back Better Act.
Read an editorial by Judith Stein of the Center for Medicare Advocacy and Mairead Painter, the Connecticut State Long Term Care Ombudsman, on seizing the moment to better protect nursing home residents.