Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.
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House Committee Advances Bill to Block Nursing Home Staffing Standards

nursing home patients are more than ever at risk of neglect and abuseAs a lawyers specializing in nursing home abuse cases, we have seen firsthand the devastating impact of understaffing in skilled nursing facilities. It’s a crisis that affects not only the residents but also their families who trust these facilities to provide quality care. Therefore, when the House Ways and Means Committee voted to bar the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from finalizing staffing minimums, it sent shockwaves through the advocacy community.

President Joe Biden’s proposed staffing standards, announced during the 2022 State of the Union, were a beacon of hope for many vulnerable seniors and their loved ones. The plan aimed to ensure that nursing homes provide a minimum of three hours of care per resident per day, with a significant portion of that time coming from registered nurses. Additionally, it mandated that at least one registered nurse be on duty at all times.

However, the road to implementing these crucial standards has been riddled with obstacles. Opponents argue that requiring nursing homes to increase staffing levels amidst nationwide shortages would lead to closures and limited care options, particularly in rural areas. But what about the residents who rely on these facilities for their daily needs?

By blocking the CMS from finalizing the regulation, lawmakers are effectively prioritizing industry profits over the well-being of vulnerable seniors

The recent vote by the House Ways and Means Committee to advance the Protecting America’s Seniors’ Access to Care Act deals a severe blow to the efforts to improve care standards in nursing homes.

The dire staffing shortages in America’s nursing homes are not just a matter of inconvenience; they’re a matter of life and death. Research has shown that increased staffing levels lead to better health outcomes for residents. Yet, according to estimates, the majority of facilities are not equipped to meet the proposed standards. This raises serious questions about the quality of care being provided to our seniors.

As lawyers who fights for justice on behalf of nursing home residents, we find it unconscionable that industry lobbyists are actively working to derail efforts to improve staffing standards. The argument that facilities cannot afford to hire additional staff is not only disingenuous but also ignores the substantial profits being made by the nursing home industry.

Furthermore, the recent survey by the American Health Care Association revealed that staffing shortages are already causing facilities to limit admissions, putting even more strain on an already fragile system. How many more residents must suffer before lawmakers take action?

While there may be disagreement among politicians about the specifics of the staffing proposal, there should be no question about the urgent need to address staffing shortages in nursing homes. Every day that passes without meaningful action is another day that vulnerable seniors are left without the care they deserve.

In the face of industry pressure and political gridlock, it falls to advocates and lawyers like ourselves to continue fighting for the rights of nursing home residents. We cannot allow profit margins to take precedence over human lives. The House Ways and Means Committee’s decision is a setback, but the fight is far from over. We will continue to push for policies that prioritize the well-being of our seniors and hold negligent facilities accountable for their actions.