The older population (persons 65 years or older) numbered 40 million in 2015, representing 13% of the U.S. population, or one in every eight Americans. It is predicted that by 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000. People 65+ represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000 but are expected to grow to be 20% of the population by 2030 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013). How these people will be tended to is an issue of import today. Here are just several of the issues that must be considered.
- More and more of these elderly adults will need round-the-clock care in full-time residential convalescence facilities.The federal law and regulations regarding nursing home issues are contained in the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. Current standards of care can be traced back to the congressionally enacted Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987) or NHRA 1987.
- The legislation set forth certain requirements for quality of care – with regard to nursing homes that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding, but individual states were permitted to pass stricter standards if they chose According to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations long term care facilities were required to adhere to a list of expectations including (but not limited to) such things as promoting quality of life and maintaining resident dignity, preventing the deterioration of a resident’s physical and communicative needs, ensuring residents receive proper treatment and assistive devices to maintain vision and hearing abilities, and develop a comprehensive care plan for each resident.
- The purpose of this legislation was to set minimum standards for nursing home care while offering a guarantee of a level of quality to the greatest extent possible. The statute include the incorporation of a Bill of Rights to further support the nursing home resident. The federal government had the ability to intervene because nursing homes rely on the receipt of Medicare and Medicaid programs to continue to function, although this is less true in ‘for profit’ facilities than ‘not for profit’ centers. In either case they must be in compliance with the requirements of the NHRA 1987 unless they have received a waiver.
Do you have an elder family member who currently resides or whom you are considering placing in a nursing home? The legal experts at ERA Law Group in Annapolis will work with you to ensure he or she is receiving proper medical care and support.