President Joe Biden promises to protect residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities. He is committed to providing older Americans and people with disabilities with a safe and dignified community to live in during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
He will listen to medical professionals, scientists, public health experts, and stakeholders who represent nursing home residents and their
families to reverse the damage done.
A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation noted more than 50 potential health policy administrative actions that Biden could take, based on campaign pledges. Cumulatively, those agenda items would impact every dimension of the healthcare system.
Plan for Nursing Home Industry
For the long-term care sector, potential actions include a possible restoration of mandatory penalties for nursing facilities that violate federal quality standards, increase nursing home staffing and oversight, and advance policies that improve care.
President Biden’s plan includes:
- Using the Defense Production Act to increase production of PPE, and provide a quick supply chain to frontline essential workers.
- Ensure adequate safe staffing to meet the needs of residents at each facility.
- Treat caregivers with respect and dignity free from management interference, and require a living wage, paid leave, and career ladders.
- Ensure effective point-of-care testing, PPE, and contact tracing are available at every facility.
- Update public health guidance to increase safety and prevent further spread.
- Increase the frequency and scope of surveys and data collection to enhance oversight by CMS.
- Conduct adequate numbers of surveys and restore levels of penalties needed to obtain compliance with safe standards.
- Require OIG audits of nursing home cost reports and ownership data through the
Provider Enrollment Chain and Ownership System (PECOS).
- Reauthorize the Elder Justice Act, which includes important provisions and protections
related to preventing abuse and exploitation of elderly Americans.
- Require an infectious disease specialist in every regulated setting.
- Reinstate the ban on forced arbitration agreements in admission agreements.
As a nursing home attorney for over 25 years, this plan is a good start. Many vulnerable adults need his plan to work. I hope he can get it done. And quickly.