Last week, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard introduced the “Nursing Home Patient Protection & Standards Act” (H.R. 6261) that aims to provide consistent standards in nursing homes across the nation. H.R. 6261 would provide training and whistleblower protections for the surveyors who oversee the quality of care provided by nursing home facilities as well as creates an advisory committee comprised of nursing home stakeholders to work together to ensure the quality of care improves.
“According to a November 2009 GAO Report, nursing home inspectors known as surveyors are being improperly pressured to ‘under-report’ the problems with care of nursing home residents. The GAO found that state legislators, industry representatives and other groups put pressure on these surveyors and in some cases compromise the entire nursing home inspection process,” said Rep. Roybal-Allard. “This is unacceptable. My bill will target inspection tampering by extending federal whistleblower protections to surveyors who oversee the quality of care provided by nursing home facilities. While the patients, their needs, and the models for care may differ, it is crucial to have strong, uniform quality standards and real accountability in the nursing home industry. This legislation doesn’t add one penny to federal spending while greatly increasing the consumer protections for nursing home recipients.”