Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Holly Schepisi that would create the Nursing Home Advisory Council and introduce penalties for long-term care facilities that violate state and federal regulations was approved by the New Jersey Senate.
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sen. Holly Schepisi that would create the Nursing Home Advisory Council and introduce penalties for long-term care facilities that violate state and federal regulations was approved by the New Jersey Senate. (Pixabay)
“Over the last two years, thousands of elderly residents in New Jersey’s nursing homes lost their lives due to coronavirus infection. During that time, there has been little to no accountability for the policies that have been implemented,” said Schepisi (R-39). “My legislation will make sure that we have accountability going forward and that any long-term care facility that violates state or federal regulations is held responsible. We need to keep our most vulnerable residents safe—and hold those who put their health in jeopardy to account.”
The legislation, A-4478/S-2759, directs the Department of Health (DOH) to scale penalties for nursing homes that repeatedly violate state and federal rules, including stricter penalties and special focused inspections. It also mandates that the DOH review reporting requirements by nursing homes, direct facilities to post financial statements online, and require yearly reports on facility-acquired infections.
Schepisi’s bill also creates a nine-member Nursing Home Advisory Council under the DOH to advise on the oversight of nursing homes and issues faced by residents and families.
The enhanced sanctions and penalties will include a series of escalating fines for severe violations, as well as a series of escalating licensure actions for repeated violations. These licensure actions may include suspending, terminating, or revoking the facility’s license, restricting new admissions to the facility, or requiring the transfer of residents to another facility.