Long-term care provisions remain in new White House reform bill

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The new White House healthcare reform proposal released this week contains a number of provisions holding significant interest to long-term care professionals—in addition to the ballyhooed Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act.

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, noted the long-term care-related provisions, many of them projects he has spearheaded, proudly in a memo. The Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act, which would seek to assess nursing home quality and provide consumer information about facilities, is contained in the president's new bill, according to Kohl. Also back for an encore appearance is the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act, which would require nursing homes to provide more stringent background checks on potential caregivers.

The president's proposal also includes incentives for home- and community-based care programs, as well as initiatives to expand the senior care workforce. There is also a provision that would reform Medicare physician pay to incentivize quality of care over quantity of services.

Republicans have vowed to continue to fight the White House's reform efforts, while speculation this week has largely centered on whether the Democratic majority would force a measure through without allowing Republican dissent.