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2021 Federal Legislation News

The Budget Reconciliation Legislation which includes nursing home reform, HCBS funding, workforce enhancements and elder justice provisions

The nursing home provisions will promote DAM Goal 1 – Nursing Home Reform that is person-centered and respectful of human dignity with oversight, accountability and transparency

  • Improved accuracy and reliability of data submitted to CMS through the payroll-based journal and quality measures or resident assessment data.  This is important for obtaining accurate data on staffing levels and resident outcomes. Additionally, this data is also used for determining nursing home star ratings through the federal government’s 5-Star Rating System – consumers deserve accurate data to make informed choices about where to turn for care.
  • Auditing of cost reports.  This is necessary to ensure transparency for the billions of dollars of public funds the facilities receive and help determine whether these funds are being used appropriately for the care of residents.
  • Review of and improvements to the survey and enforcement system.  This is needed to hold facilities accountable for meeting federal quality standards.
  • A process for establishing minimum staffing standards in federal regulations.  Consumer Voice has been advocating for minimum staffing standards for years.  This is the opportunity to start the process and ensure adequate staffing for nursing home consumers.  

The Elder Justice Act provides funding for DAM Goal 3 – Home and Community-Based Supports and Services improvement and expansion of opportunities

  • Increased funding for the long-term care (LTC) ombudsman program, to support training and response to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
  • Funding for long term care workforce development in the form of grants to states and territories for wage subsidies, student loan repayment or tuition assistance, childcare, and transportation assistance.
  • Grants and training for community-based organizations: to conduct outreach and interventions for individuals at risk for social isolation or loneliness.