Legislation would protect nursing home whistleblowers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard introduced legislation earlier this month that provides training and whistleblower protections for the surveyors who oversee the qualify of care provided by nursing home facilities.HR 2522, known as the Nursing Home Patient Protection & Standards Act, would ensure consistent standards in nursing homes across the nation, supporters said. "(Nursing) home inspectors known as surveyors are being improperly pressured to 'under-report' the problems with care of nursing home residents," Roybal-Allard said. "These problems persist and my bill would prevent these surveyors from facing inappropriate pressure that can compromise the entire nursing home inspection process. Congress must act." "My bill targets inspection tampering by extending federal whistleblower protections to surveyors of nursing home facilities," the congresswoman continued. "It is critically important to have real accountability in the nursing home industry. This legislation doesn't add one penny to federal spending while providing important protections to seniors." In the United States, there are more than 15,000 skilled nursing facilities that treat nearly 1.5 million people who are dealing with and recovering from serious health issues.

********** Published: August 18, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 18