New Bill Proposed Would Punish Short-Staffed Nursing Homes

One state lawmaker is proposing a bill that may increase quality patient care in nursing homes. Currently, there are no federal regulations for establishing how many caregivers must be employed at a nursing home facility. Some patient advocates and regulators believe the low employment and under-staffing translates to poor care for patients. “You would think that anytime you put your loved one in a nursing home, the care would be there, because it’s supposed to be regulated, but we find that’s not the case,” said one senator.

If the bill passes, the law would require fines for low staffing, along with notices in facility doorways reporting the failure to provide adequate staff. The fines may equal twice the amount of money saved by not adding more staff to payroll. “[W]e recognize that enforcement of the minimum standards of staffing is a step in the right direction,” said one proponent of the new bill. For more, read the story.