Will a Spouse's Monetary Gift Jeopardize the Medicaid Eligibility of the Spouse in the Nursing Home?
If the spouse of a nursing home resident gives a monetary gift to her children/grandchildren from her own monthly income, wil...Read more
Since Congress passed a law designed to improve the quality of nursing homes 20 years ago, nursing homes have improved, but there are still a lot of problems. This is the conclusion of a new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation that examines the progress nursing homes have made over the past 20 years since the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (also known as the Nursing Home Reform Act) became law.
The Nursing Home Reform Act changed federal law by instituting higher standards for patient care. The law increased staffing requirements and established a number of resident rights, including the right to be free from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect. It also established an enforcement system and merged Medicare and Medicaid standards and certification requirements.
According to the report, one of the biggest improvements since the passage of the Nursing Home Reform Act is the reduction in the use of physical restraints, which can decrease a resident's muscle tone and cause other health problems. In 2006, fewer than 6 percent of long-stay nursing home residents had been restrained during the last 7 days. In addition staffing levels and training have improved slightly.
Although there have been improvements, the report notes, there are still serious problems. The number of facilities cited for violations is still high. In 2006, nearly one-fifth of all certified facilities were cited for deficiencies that caused harm or immediate jeopardy to residents. Staffing levels have improved somewhat, but studies indicate that nursing homes are still significantly understaffed. In addition, while there were improvements in the system immediately after the law's passage, improvements seem to have plateaued.
The report examines some possible future strategies for improving care, including reforming Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement, changing organizational culture, and providing more information to consumers.
To read the full report, click here.
For more information on nursing homes, click here.
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
John Laster is a lawyer licensed to practice in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He limits his practice to wealth transfer planning, trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care decision-making issues, estate administration and related tax, elder law and disability concerns. Listed in The Best Lawyers...
In practice since 1987, Fairfax Attorney Evan Farr is widely recognized as one of the leading Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Specials Needs attorneys in Virginia and one of foremost experts in the Country in the field of Medicaid Asset Protection and related Trusts. Evan Farr has been quoted or cited as an expert by n...
Ron M. Landsman has been practicing elder law since 1983, before it was known as elder law, originally with Landsman and Laster, Washington, D.C., then Landsman, Eakes and Laster, also in Arlington, VA, and since 1990 in his own practice in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has been among the most active members of the...