President Biden Proposes Nursing Home Reform: 3 Things You Need to Know Now

By: Jennifer L. Strange

On February 28, 2022, ahead of President Biden’s State of the Union address, the White House announced a set of reforms intended to “improve the safety and quality of nursing home care, hold nursing homes accountable for the care they provide, and make the quality of care and facility ownership more transparent so that potential residents and their loved ones can make informed decisions about care.”  The Fact Sheet released by the White House, and outlining President Biden’s policy reforms to be implemented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), can be found, here.

The proposed initiatives will have a significant impact on the long-term care industry.  While it remains to be seen when and how some of these proposed changes will take effect, there are three things you need to know now.

  • CMS will impose minimum staffing requirements for long-term care providers within the next year. CMS has been tasked with conducting a new “rigorous study” to determine the level and type of staffing needed, while also considering ongoing workforce issues within the industry.  While the timeframe for some of the other initiatives is less clear, we can expect CMS to issue proposed standards within the next year.
  • Expect increased enforcement efforts. President Biden’s proposed initiatives include overhauling the Special Focus Facility program, increased accountability of chain owners, and a significant increase in financial penalties and sanctions, including an increase in maximum Civil Monetary Penalties from $21,000 to $1,000,000 (though the latter would require action from Congress).
  • Expect increased transparency of facility ownership, finances, and performance. This will include more public reporting and making this information more readily available on the Nursing Home Care Compare website.

DSV’s Health Care Services Group will be monitoring these proposed and anticipated changes closely.  If you have any questions, please contact myself or another attorney within DSV’s Health Care Services Group.

***The information contained on this website is for informational purposes and is not intended as formal legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such.  No attorney client relationship is established or intended as a result of the information contained on this website.***