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How Obamacare Impacts Nursing Home Care

Affordable Care Act

Health care reform will be impacting nursing home ownership and care in a number of important areas; transparency of information, listing of nursing own ownership, increased protection for nursing home residents, new nursing home requirements, and improved care for seniors after hospital care. These changes can affect your insurance and risk management, so understanding their potential impact is important.

Improved transparency of nursing home information

The health law makes more information available to compare homes and monitor care. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has a site – Nursing Home Compare – which makes information readily available. This information includes how much is spent on resident care versus administrative costs, what complaints and violations exist, the hours of care per resident, and staff turnover rates.

Information on nursing home ownership is also a new requirement. This will make it easier for those seeking a facility to find out if the home is faith-based or non-profit, a consideration important to some families.

Increased consumer protection for nursing homes residents

States are required to have a process in place to resolve complaints about the quality of care in nursing homes. Additionally, nursing homes must meet new requirements if a closure is pending. Administrators must tell residents and their families about the closure early enough for them to make plans for relocation. Plus, the state is required to insure all residents have been relocated before closure.

Improved care for seniors after they leave the hospital

In 2011, the Community Care Transitions Program (CCTP) went into effect with a five year schedule. The goal is to help high-risk Medicare beneficiaries avoid hospital readmissions by connecting them to community services. The foundation for CCTP was the realization that nearly one in five Medicare patients discharged from a hospital is readmitted within 30 days.

The pressure to reduce hospital readmission means nursing homes need to be prepared to take on more patients for post-acute care, such as recovering after surgery. Some anticipate that nursing homes may even begin to offer a larger variety of services in homes.

With our aging population, the increase in and changes to nursing home legislation is bound to continue. At Highland Risk we can help with insurance policies and products for long term care providers. Contact us to ask any questions you have or to get assistance in a personal evaluation of how these changes impact the service you provide your clients. Please let us serve you by calling one of our two offices in Chicago at 847-832-9100 or Lansing at 517-676-7100.

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