Philadelphia Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers Discuss Potential Changes to Regulations January 24, 2017
Pennsylvania lawmakers could be making some changes to nursing home regulations. A task force within the Department of Health conducted a recent review of these regulations and found that patients might be better served by oversight that prioritizes quality of life, rather than quality of a facility. The department made some specific policy recommendations and will work with legislators to improve the existing regulations to reflect this new philosophy.
Among the seven policy recommendations were provisions for improving nursing home data, including an enhanced survey process and increased data sharing requirements. The task force also recommended changes to staffing requirements and licensure regulations placing the emphasis on patient care. New reimbursement programs recommended by the department would incentivize implementing changes.
Providers Concerned About Funding Changes to Regulations
According to the department, the Office of the Attorney General will contribute $1.2 million to help implement these changes throughout the state. The report acknowledged existing Medicaid funding gaps, saying that funding has not increased consistently with the increase of services provided by nursing home facilities. Funding is a major concern for elder care providers who may be facing costly lawsuits, thanks to a recent legislative change preventing federally funded facilities from forcing binding arbitration of disputes.
The department says that changes are needed to adapt to the current state of nursing home care. Facilities should be able to accommodate shorter stays, such as those needed after surgery or hospitalization, as well as end-of-life care. While many in the industry agree with the sentiment of the changes, they are concerned about the practical difficulties of implementing them. Requirements such as surveys and fines could place an undue burden on facilities whose resources are already stretched thin, and implementing policy changes will require retraining staff. Some fear that too much regulation will have the opposite effect of making it more difficult for facilities to serve patients.
Ultimately the goal of nursing home facilities is to provide quality care for some of our most vulnerable citizens. The Department of Health is hopeful that implementing these regulatory changes will improve patient care at these facilities. Nursing home neglect, whether due to understaffing, underfunding, or other circumstances, can have dire consequences for elderly residents. If you or a loved one has suffered from nursing home neglect, an experienced nursing home negligence lawyer can help you review your legal options.
Philadelphia Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Advocate for Victims of Nursing Home Neglect
Philadelphia nursing home negligence lawyers at Galfand Berger have the knowledge and experience to handle all types of nursing home neglect cases. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine who is at fault and prepare an aggressive legal strategy to secure you the compensation you need. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, and Bethlehem, we help nursing home residents and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 1-800-222-USWA (8792), or contact us online, for a free consultation.