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Legislation to Reduce Rehospitalizations Fails to Answer Questions About Resident Protections

The Reducing Unnecessary Senior Hospitalizations (RUSH) Act of 2018 (H.R. 6502) would allow certain medical groups to provide telehealth and on-site first responder services to nursing home residents in an attempt to reduce rehospitalizations. Although the goal of reducing unnecessary and inappropriate rehospitalizations is commendable, the RUSH Act leaves far too many questions unanswered for nursing home residents, including:

  • Will the HHS Secretary ensure that first responders do not replace existing nursing staff?
  • Will the Secretary certify that these outside companies and their employees do not have a record of providing deficient care to residents?
  • Will the Secretary ensure that residents are not being inappropriately kept at the nursing home to increase profits?
  • Will nursing home operators be allowed to have an ownership interest in these outside companies?

The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC), California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), and National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) sent a letter opposing the RUSH Act to the bill’s sponsor and cosponsors.

Department of Labor’s Proposed Rule Would Allow Minors to Independently Operate Dangerous Resident Hoists

The Department of Labor has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would overturn a prohibition against allowing 16 and 17 year-olds to independently operate power-driven resident hoists and lift for nursing home residents. Under the current policy, these minors can only operate hoisting or lifting devices under the supervision of trained adult staff members. The Department’s proposal to roll back this resident protection conflicts with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) finding that these minors “cannot safely operate power-driven hoists to lift or transfer patients by themselves…”

To read the Center for Medicare Advocacy’s and the Long Term Care Community Coalition’s (LTCCC) comments opposing the Department’s proposed rule, please visit: https://www.medicareadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/LTCCC-CMA_RIN-1235-AA22.pdf

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