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New standards for patient care at nursing homes
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New standards for patient care at nursing homes

Families in Oregon that have loved ones who are living in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities may be interested to learn about a proposed rule that was recently issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. On July 16, CMS published a set of new standards that will set stricter guidelines for patient care and create more government oversight of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

One of the main components of the proposed rule is a set of requirements for nursing home staff. Staff members must have training in elder abuse prevention as well as appropriate skill sets that are needed to provide person-centered care. Before taking on new hires, nursing homes would be required to conduct thorough background checks, and they would be prohibited from hiring any staff members that have previously been disciplined for theft, mistreatment or abuse.

Some of the other requirements in the proposed rule include greater food choices for residents, improved care planning and updated infection prevention protocols. The rights of nursing home residents would also be strengthened under the proposed rule, and there would be limits placed on the use of binding arbitration agreements.

Prior to publishing the latest proposed rule, Medicare and Medicaid had not conducted a thorough review of nursing home care standards in about 24 years. The new regulations are an effort to cut down on nursing home abuse, neglect and medical malpractice. If a resident has been the victim of nursing home neglect, a lawyer may be able to help the family pursue financial compensation from the liable parties.