Nursing Homes and Facilities

Goal

Make Nursing Homes both safer, and less needed.

Everyone deserves to live a full life with dignity. However, Covid-19 has robbed many of that right — in just over five months more than 5,600 people have died in 379 Massachusetts nursing homes, 88% of the 429 homes in the state, and the toll increases daily. These deaths comprise 15% of all nursing home residents in the state and nearly 66% of all Covid-19 deaths in the Commonwealth. Over 24,000 nursing home residents and staff have tested positive. The mortality rate of infected nursing home residents is more than 22%, three times the rate of the general population.

There can no longer be any doubt about the urgency of the need for comprehensive change to the nursing home model as the predominant institution for long-term care of seniors and people with disabilities. Not only is a fundamental restructuring of facility operations necessary, but as a coalition of advocates with first-hand experience, we are here to say it can be done. New public policies are urgently required to promote community-based services while improving the conditions inside existing facilities. These places remain far too vulnerable at a time when the threat of a Covid-19 resurgence remains high.

Legislation

See the State Legislative Endorsements page for a list of all Dignity Alliance supported bills.

Positions and Actions

  • January 12, 2021Audit Nursing Home Complaints – A letter was sent to State Auditor Suzanne Bump, asking for a follow up on the audit of nursing home complaints from July, 1, 2016 – June 30, 2018. DAM is interested in the effects of the recommended increase in investigative staff, as well as the effects on nursing home complaints during Covid-19. Among the topics of concern is the quality of care delivery due to staffing shortages and pandemic related issues, no onsite presence of public officials and family members, possible systemic delays of investigations, information on complaint backlogs, cross-reference information on deaths, efforts to get residents back into the community, data on how many residents cannot provide written informed consent and have no guardian or health care proxy agent, and the overuse and misuse of psychotropic medications. The detailed letter is available at DAM Auditor Letter on Nursing Home Complaints.docx.

News

National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality

A major, comprehensive report on nursing home care was released on April 6, 2022, by the Committee on the Quality ...
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Advocate for Nursing Home Reform

Please contact Senator Pat Jehlen (Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1578) and Representative Tom Stanley (Thomas.Stanley@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2810) of the Committee on Elder ...
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DignityMA Media Re: White House Proposal

DignityMA members have been busy being published in newspapers across the state, explaining our support for the White House's Proposed ...
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Action Agenda from Consumer Voice

From the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care March Forth Together On February 28, 2022, the Biden Administration announced ...
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Support for White House’s Proposed Nursing Home Reforms

March 1, 2022 Dignity Alliance released a statement applauding the White House's proposed nursing home reforms(pdf). The release highlights DignityMA ...
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Alarm Sounded over Nursing Home Care Gaps

December 6, 2021 - Boston Globe Letter - Alarm sounded over continual gaps in care at nursing homes Is there ...
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HR 598 – Quality Care for Nursing Home Residents and Workers During COVID–19 and Beyond Act

Federal Bill HR 598 supports the Dignity Alliance MA Goal 1 – Nursing Home Reform that is person-centered and respectful ...
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HR 2812 – Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act

HR 2812 supports: DAM Goal 1: Nursing Home Reform that is person-centered and respectful of human dignity with oversight, accountability ...
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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 ...
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S2694 / HR 5169 – Nursing Home Improvement and Accountability Act of 2021

Federal Bills S 2694 and HR 5169 support the Dignity Alliance MA Goal 1 – Nursing Home Reform that is ...
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HR 3733 – The Essential Caregivers Act

Federal Bill HR 3733 supports the Dignity Alliance MA Goal 1 – Nursing Home Reform that is person-centered and respectful ...
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Resolution – Mandate Vax for Nursing Homes Employees

Download the full resolution Calling on Nursing Home Providers and Caregivers to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccinations to Protect All In their ...
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Advocacy Letters for Holyoke Soldiers’ Home

On May 25, 2021, Governor Baker signed legislation authorizing bond financing for the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home providing $400 million for ...
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Biden to require COVID vaccines for nursing home staff

August 18, 2021 - WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced that his administration will require that nursing ...
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S418 and H745: Personal Care Homes

An Act relative to expanding the availability of personal care homes for older adults “Personal care home” or “home”, a ...
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Nursing Home Industry is Heavily Taxpayer-Subsidized

Special Report from the Center for Medicare Advocacy - July 2021. Download the full report: Special-Report-SNF-Subsidies.pdf Nursing Home Industry is ...
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Support S406 – Small House Nursing Homes

Download Jim Lomastro's testimony (docx): Elder Affairs S406 Small Homes DAM. Good morning. Thank you for the opportunity to speak ...
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Support S413, H733

June 30, 2021 Download the pdf: Testimony on S413 and H733 An Act to Improve Employee Standards for MA Nursing ...
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Support S414, H727

June 30, 2021 Download the pdf: Testimony on S414 and H727 An Act to Ensure Quality of Care in Nursing ...
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Holyoke Soldiers’ Home bond bill S. 2439

Dear Senators, Dignity Alliance Massachusetts supports the Holyoke Soldiers' Home bond bill S. 2439 as well as adoption of Amendment ...
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