State Passes Bills Targeting Nursing Home Quality

State Passes Bills Targeting Nursing Home Quality

Maryland residents who must place aging parents or other family members in nursing homes may often do so with some level of trepidation about their safety in these facilities. This trepidation it seems is sadly warranted.

More than 27 percent of the state's nursing homes are said to have earned only two or fewer stars based on the rating system displayed on the federal government's website for Medicare. In addition, 20 care facilities are categories as below average or worse for staffing and another 20 have the same rating for quality. When it comes to how the state has handled reports of problems in nursing homes, things are not any better. Maryland actually ranks as the seventh worst in the U.S. for this. Despite a federal mandate to investigate complaints within 10 days, Maryland has averaged 47 days to start investigations.

These issues are some of the reasons that state lawmakers pushed to have two new bills passed. One increases staffing with the addition of an ombudsman and others in the Oversight Committee on Quality of Care in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities. The other bill adds 50 employees over five years to the department responsible for investigating nursing home complaints. This bill also outlines required timelines for investigations to be commenced.

People who fear their relatives are in unsafe situations in Maryland nursing homes might want to talk with an attorney to learn what else they can do to be protected.

Source: Delmarvanow.com, "Maryland nursing homes would see new oversight from state Senate bills," Sean Whooley, May 7, 2018

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