Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) — head of the powerful Senate Committee on Finance, and a longtime nursing home critic — convened the hearing, and said SNF reform would be a “top priority” during his tenure. He said he wants to crackdown on nursing home abuse cases that never get reported to law enforcement and fix weaknesses in the five-star rating system. One of the top officials for the largest nursing home lobbying group, meanwhile, proposed three ways to help avoid such cases in the future.
Advocates urge reforms as a result.
Also speaking was David Gifford, M.D., senior VP of quality and regulatory affairs with the American Health Care Association. He said that nursing homes “failed” in providing care for mothers of the two witnesses, and he and the AHCA are “appalled and disgusted by the two devastating incidents” discussed Wednesday.
Asked to offer solutions to lawmakers on how to avoid such Gifford gave three recommendations: (1) Expand federal programs that attract healthcare workers to the nursing home industry; (2) strengthen federal regulations around reporting and sharing of information about employees who have engaged in abuse; and (3) Make ratings of resident and family satisfaction with nursing home care publicly available
Expect more scrutiny from regulators in response to this.