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Summary of the Biden-Harris Administration Nursing Home Reforms

March 16, 2022

On February 28, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a set of wide-ranging reforms aimed at improving the quality of nursing home care for residents. These reforms take aim at long-standing issues that have plagued nursing home care for decades, including poor staffing, inadequate enforcement, and lack of transparency in nursing home ownership and how taxpayer dollars are spent.

If implemented, these reforms would be the most significant increase in protections for nursing home residents in decades.

Read the full summary of the reforms.

The announcement was broken down into five categories:

1.    Ensuring Taxpayer Dollars Support Nursing Homes That Provide Safe, Adequate, and Dignified Care

  • Establish a Minimum Nursing Home Staffing Requirement
  • Reduce Resident Room Crowding:
  • Strengthen the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program:
  • Reinforce Safeguards Against Unnecessary Medications and Treatments

2.    Enhancing Accountability and Oversight

  • Adequately Fund Inspection Activities
  • Beef up Scrutiny on More of the Poorest Performers
  • Expand Financial Penalties and Other Enforcement Sanctions
  • Increase Accountability for Chain Owners of Substandard Facilities
  • Provide Technical Assistance to Nursing Homes to Help Them Improve

3.    Increasing Transparency

  • Create a Database of Nursing Home Owners and Operators
  • Improve Transparency of Facility Ownership and Finances
  • Enhance Nursing Home Care Compare
  • Examine the Role of Private Equity

4.    Creating Pathways to Good-Paying Jobs with the Free and Fair Choice to Join a Union

  • Ensure Nurse Aide Training is Affordable
  • Support State Efforts to Improve Staffing and Workforce Sustainability
  • Launch National Nursing Career Pathways Campaign

5.    Ensuring Pandemic and Emergency Preparedness in Nursing Homes

  • Continued COVID-19 Testing in Long-Term Care Facilities
  • Continued COVID-19 Vaccinations and Boosters in Long-Term Care Facilities:
  • Strengthen Requirements for On-site Infection Preventionists
  • Enhance Requirements for Pandemic and Emergency Preparedness
  • Integrate Pandemic Lessons into Nursing Home Requirements:

It is still very early in the process and the effort needed to implement these reforms will be significant.  We will continue to share information and also action steps you can take to help realize these important goals. But, for now, we can all celebrate this momentous occasion and its promise for nursing home residents!

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