As previously discussed, nursing home reform advocates are up in arms — and rightly so — over a proposed law that unanimously passed through the state’s House of Representatives that would force already time-strapped Department of Health officials to conduct a thorough review of a nursing home facility’s past reported violations before being permitted to issue them a citation in the event of a serious injury or the death of one of their residents.
Indeed, many advocates believe that this could spell the beginning of the end for the state’s landmark 2010 nursing home reform legislation.
While these fears may ultimately be well-founded, it is important to have some perspective on the matter — and one vote is still cause for hope regarding nursing home reform. There is still pending before the House of Representatives’ Joint Committee on Administrative Rules a requirement that at least 20% of the workforce in the state’s nursing homes be comprised of Registered Nurses (RN’s).
This would be a significant step, as requiring facilities to staff a minimum number of registered nurses has the potential to greatly decrease the number of serious or fatal incidents occurring in these facilities, as it would increase the skill level of the facilities’ workforce and provide teams better equipped to respond to emergency situations.
It is important to note as well that this measure would be the first of its kind to put a minimum quota for direct care by RN’s.
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