In the Fall of 2020, the National Academy of Sciences announced a new ad hoc committee to study “how our nation delivers, finances, regulates, and measures the quality of nursing home care with particular emphasis on challenges that have arisen in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Joined by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform and the Michigan Elder Justice Institute, the Center for Medicare Advocacy has submitted a statement to the committee.
The joint statement describes the framework of the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law and its implementation, through detailed regulations and informal guidance, as fundamentally sound. Rather than revise the law, the statement calls on the committee to address three key issues:
- Longstanding problems in professional and paraprofessional nurse staffing (levels, competencies, training, salaries/benefits, and working conditions), and issues that the pandemic has dramatically brought to public view, including
- Lack of rules governing how facilities spend their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, allowing facilities to raid public funding for private gain; and
- Virtual abdication by states and the federal government of any responsibility for determining and controlling who is eligible to own and manage nursing facilities, allowing private equity firms, real estate investment trusts, and private owners whose interests are in profits and self-dealing to buy, sell, and operate facilities and businesses with impunity.
The full statement is available at https://medicareadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/nursing-homes-NAS-nursing-home-committee-CMA-comments-01.13.2021.pdf
January 14, 2021 – T. Edelman
 National Academy of Sciences, “The Quality of Care in Nursing Homes” (Project Information), https://www8.nationalacademies.org/pa/projectview.aspx?key=52176