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Legislative Initiatives

Consumer Voice is following several pieces of federal legislation that affect consumers of long-term care.

Nursing Home Improvement and Accountability Act

This legislation would: increase transparency, accountability, and oversight in nursing homes, improve staffing, and support innovation in the structure and culture of these facilities.

Bill status: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senate Aging Committee Chairman Bob Casey (D-PA), along with Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), introduced the bill in the Senate on August 10, 2021.

Essential Caregivers Act

This legislation would: gives residents of nursing homes the right to access essential caregivers (ECs) during any public health emergency. An EC is a person, designated by the resident, who can enter the facility, even when visitation is shut down during a public health emergency, to provide support, assistance, and companionship to the resident.

Bill status: Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) introduced the bill in the House of Representatives on June 4, 2021.

Take Action: Contact your members of Congress to ask them to support the Essential Caregivers Act!

Budget and Reconciliation Package

This legislation would: include provisions from the Nursing Home Improvement and Accountability Act and from the Elder Justice Reauthorization Act. The nursing home provisions will promote: improved accuracy and reliability of data submitted to CMS; auditing of cost reports; review of and improvements to the survey and enforcement system; and a process for establishing minimum staffing standards in federal regulations. The Elder Justice Act provides: increased funding for the long-term care ombudsman program; funding for long term care workforce development; and grants and training for community-based organizations.

Bill status: The House Reconciliation Bill was approved by the Budget Committee and sent to the House floor.

Take Action: Tell Congress to Support Nursing Home and Elder Justice Act Provisions in Budget and Reconciliation Package

Elder Justice Reauthorization Act

This legislation would: include funding for long-term care workforce development; Adult Protective Services; the long-term care ombudsman program; supporting linkages to legal services and medical-legal partnerships; and grants and training to community-based organizations to conduct outreach to individuals at risk for social isolation or loneliness.

Bill status: The bill was introduced in the House (H.R.4969) and Senate (S.2674) in August 2021.

Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act

This legislation would: prohibit long-term care facilities from requiring or soliciting residents to enter into pre-dispute, mandatory, binding arbitration agreements.

Bill status: Congresswomen Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) re-introduced the bill in the House of Representatives on April 22, 2021. Shortly after filing this legislation, Congresswomen Linda T. Sánchez and Jan Schakowsky sent a letter to the Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services urging immediate action to curtail the use of pre-dispute, binding arbitration agreements in long term care facilities.

  • Legislative Text
  • Consumer Voice Action - On June 3, 2021, Consumer Voice sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to co-sponsor this bill. Read our issue brief on pre-dispute arbitration agreements.