A sufficiently staffed nursing home fosters an environment where residents can attain and maintain their highest practicable physical, emotional and psychosocial well-being. All too often, however, …
A sufficiently staffed nursing home fosters an environment where residents can attain and maintain their highest practicable physical, emotional and psychosocial well-being. All too often, however, nursing homes fail to provide the necessary levels of skilled nursing care, supervision, and 24-hour services as required by federal law. As a result, the most vulnerable Americans suffer every day from neglect and substandard care. We are all paying the price.
The Build Back Better Act is a golden opportunity to address pervasive understaffing in long-term care. Unfortunately, a once-promising bill has been stripped of the essential staffing standards—federal minimum staffing standards and 24-hour Registered Nurse (RN) coverage—that could have led to real change. The bill’s authors say they want to overhaul the long-term care system but failing to address the fundamental nursing home problem—understaffing—is endorsing the status quo and abandoning the 1.1 million individuals in U.S. nursing homes whom we promised to protect.
The Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) is calling on Senate leaders, especially Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) and Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (OR), to reinstall the following two vital provisions:
Our residents are worth the investment.
The pandemic was a wake-up call to the nation that nursing homes must be held accountable for following through on the promises they make to residents and families. The Build Back Better Act can help to ensure that promises made are promises kept. It passed in the House of Representatives in November. Now it is time for every U.S. Senator to stand up for the seniors and families in their states and demand that the important staffing provisions are put back in the act.
Want to take action? Contact your senators and let them know that nursing home residents need essential staffing standards in the Build Back Better Act. [As of this writing, although the bill had failed in the Senate, observers generally agree that it still has a chance.]
Richard Mollott is the executive director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here