As an interesting article explains, many patients’ rights advocate groups are up in arms after the General Assembly passed a measure to clarify a section of the landmark 2010 Nursing Home Care Act that now will require 10% of care in nursing homes to be provided by registered nurses (RN’s).
The debate that led to this measure sought to clarify portions of the 2010 Act that required increases in the amount of “nursing and personnel care” that patients are entitled to receive.
The problem that the General Assembly faced was deciding what level of qualification was necessary for such care. Many patients’ rights advocates had hoped for 20% of the care or higher to be provided by RN’s, but, unfortunately, the General Assembly voted to approve a requirement of 10% — half of what advocates were hoping for.
As the article detailed, many advocates felt as though their concerns were not adequately raised and that they were not properly included in the accompanying debates. Many advocates fear — a fear that many attorneys working in this field of law can attest — that a great many accidents in nursing homes happen and/or are made worse by inadequately trained staff that are not properly prepared to respond to an emergency situation.
As such, it would have been nice to see the General Assembly focus on the perils that nursing home residents face and the lives and costs that can be saved by requiring higher levels of well-trained staff, and hopefully, this will not be a decision that we all will one day regret.
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