State of the Union address to focus on elder law issues

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2022 | Elder Law |

The year 2022 is shaping up to be quite eventful, with the status quo no longer assured of being maintained. One industry that will soon experience a major shake-up appears to be the field of long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

When the president gives his pending State of the Union address, he plans to announce sweeping reforms to improve the quality of care in these facilities all across the United States. Let’s explore further.

Minimum staffing levels top the list of changes

One thing that became evident in recent years is that nursing homes and some long-term care facilities are woefully understaffed and unable to sufficiently meet their residents’ needs. The administration is also looking into alternatives to the traditional nursing home settings for senior citizens’ residential health care needs. They intend to pursue options care based in the community and the residents’ own homes.

Another issue that could raise the quality of life of nursing home residents is providing more private rooms to avoid the typical problems that arise from two or more residents sharing a single room.

Enhanced oversight of the industry

The president wants to add $500 million, or almost 25% more, to the budget allocated for additional inspections of the facilities housing nursing home residents. Right now, states inspect nursing homes in accordance with Medicare guidelines. Under the proposal, those facilities that continue to underperform could lose the vital payments from Medicaid and Medicare they depend on to operate.

The industry is not happy with all changes

Predictably, there is already blowback from the nursing home industry. Insiders claim these proposals will price many facilities right out of business. A Harvard professor of health policy stated that advocates of the plan counter the money already exists in the system and can be redirected.

Fewer profit-driven facilities owned by investors who follow the bottom line almost exclusively regarding changes might be in line. Policy documents released by the White House state, in part, “Too often, the private equity model has put profits before people, a particularly dangerous model when it comes to the health and safety of vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities,” and the public should be informed if and “when corporate entities are not serving their residents’ best interests.”

Changes in issues affecting elder laws should be followed carefully by all to make sure they stay abreast of any changes affecting them or their loved ones.


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