Alliance, SEIU react to reform bill

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Alliance President Alan Rosenbloom
Alliance President Alan Rosenbloom
Healthcare-related groups expressed varying degrees of support for a new nursing home reform bill that would increase penalties for poor performing nursing homes.

While the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care commended Sens. Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) "for their longstanding and continuing commitment to nursing home quality improvement," it stopped short of praising the bill introduced by the two senators. It noted that it hopes to work with the senators to "strengthen some provisions of their legislation," including a pilot study on staffing proposed in the bill.

Meanwhile, the Service Employees International Union expressed approval of the bill. It said the bill would force buyout firms, like The Carlyle Group, to be held accountable for their actions. The SEIU has expressed concerns that The Carlyle Group, which recently took over Manor Care Inc., a major nursing home chain, would place profits over resident care.

The Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act of 2008, introduced last week, would fine a nursing home operator with a deficiency resulting in death up to $100,000 - compared with the current $10,000 maximum. It also calls for more transparency regarding nursing home ownership and operations.