Legislation would increase surveyor influence, training
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In addition to training and whistleblower protections, the Nursing Home Patient Protection & Standards Act (H.R. 6261) would improve staffing to nursing home survey teams and establish an advisory committee to focus on improving the quality of nursing home care. The proposed committee would comprise nursing home stakeholders, including resident advocates, members of survey teams, nursing home administrators, directors of nursing, registered nurses, and other skilled nursing facility stakeholders.
The bill comes as a response to a recent Government Accountability Office report that found that nursing home surveyors are routinely pressured by state legislators, industry representatives and other groups to “under report” the problems they discover at nursing homes. The new law would establish a civil monetary penalty of up to $10,000 for anyone found to be inappropriately influencing a nursing home surveyor. The proposal was submitted to the House Committee on Ways and Means on Sept. 29.
“My bill will target inspection tampering by extending federal whistleblower protections to surveyors who oversee the quality of care provided by nursing home facilities,” Roybal-Allard said in a statement. “This legislation doesn't add one penny to federal spending while greatly increasing the consumer protections for nursing home recipients.”