LTC reform bill introduced in House

Share this content:

The level of discourse about improving the quality of long-term care rose to a new level Tuesday, when three members of the U.S. House introduced the Long Term Care Quality & Modernization Act of 2007 (H.R. 4082). Although there are no illusions in the provider community about quick passage for the sweeping reform measure, its unveiling had been anxiously anticipated since a companion bill was unveiled in the Senate in early August.

Advocates praised H.R. 4082 for its wide array of provider-friendly provisions. They say it would promote investment in health information technology and capital improvements. It also would encourage collaboration between nursing home providers and surveyors.

In addition, it would ease loan repayment rules for nurses in for-profit settings and mandate annual updates to Medicare consolidated billing rules, according to the American Health Care Association. Another provision would ease requirements about about obtaining physician authorization for diabetes blood-glucose testing.

Introducing the bill yesterday were Reps. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), co-chairs of the House Long-Term Care Caucus, as well as Rep. Tom Allen (D-ME), the caucus' vice chair.

"All across the nation there have been significant improvements in the quality and accessibility of long term care options," Allen said. "Our bill bolsters this progress.... It provides a comprehensive strategy that combines public and private resources to address the challenge that the coming influx of aging baby boomers poses to our health care system."