Rhode Island legislator proposes bill to expand state oversight of homes

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Lt. Gov. Charles Fogarty (D-RI) presented legislation this week to strengthen the state's role in regulating finances and resident care at nursing homes.

The Germaine Morsilli Act, named after an 87-year-old patient who died at a now-defunct home in Rhode Island, would create more transparency in nursing home finances, allow the state to step in more quickly if it sees problems at a facility and expand the number of inspectors overseeing homes, news reports said.

Two investigations into Morsilli's death sparked debate over state regulation of homes after the probes determined officials should have acted sooner to stop new admissions at the facility, transfer Morsilli and shut down the home. Two lawmakers have since proposed legislation boosting oversight of facilities and a new legislative committee has been formed to study the issue.