November 17, 2012 by astancilwomack
Other than my activities assistant position right out of high school, I don’t have much experience with nursing homes. So over the next few posts I am going to explore the basic infrastructure of skilled nursing facilities. Today, I would like to discuss the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987. Omnibus budgets are the budgets set forth by the government in order to control spending, and/or lower debt.
This act was signed by President Ronald Regan, and included a section on federal reform for nursing homes. This act set regulations for nursing homes receiving funding from Medicare and Medicaid programs. Considering most patients in nursing homes are over 65 years of age, or disabled this applies to almost all nursing homes. The overall goal was to improve the quality of life of the residents, and improve the quality of care at these facilities. The provisions include:
- The act required more adequate training for nursing assistants. It mandated 75 hours of training, comprehensive testing, certification, and registration of nursing aides.
- The act gives the residents the right to stay in the nursing homes, even in absence of payment, or change in medical condition.
- It prohibits the facility from seeking payment from family members, if care is not covered by Medicare/Medicaid.
- The act protected residents from unnecessary or unwarranted restraint, either chemical or physical.
- The law suggests that residents should be able to maintain, if not improve their current physical abilities (i.e. showering, walking, etc.), unless hindered due to medical reasons.
- The act mandates the facility’s safely maintain or bank using personal funds.
- The act allows the resident to choose their primary care physician.
- The resident has the right to return to the facility in cases of hospital stays, or overnight visits with family
- The act also gives residents and family members the right to join or create councils on behalf of the resident(s).
- As with all patients, the residents have a right to their medical records.
You can read the whole law at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2671955. Feel free to leave any comments you may have.