The Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act is sure to bring the largest reform of nursing home care in more than 20 years. This Act, which is part of the Health Care Reform Bill, will force nursing homes to clearly identify the owners, managers and organizational structure of the facility.
Additionally, in an effort to encourage self-improvement, nursing homes will now be required to implement a compliance and ethics program to detect criminal, civil and administrative violations within the facility, as well as a quality assurance and performance improvement program.
Moreover, the Nursing Home Compare website maintained by Medicare will now contain staffing data, links to state internet websites with information regarding state survey and certification programs, links to state inspection reports, information on how to interpret and understand such reports, and facility plans of correction or other responses to such reports. Nursing Home Compare will also include a consumer rights information page.
These sweeping reforms will certainly improve the ability of families to compare nursing homes. Hopefully, more transparency will also improve the quality of life for nursing home residents.