Proposal to Cap Nursing Home Damage Fails
A proposal that asked for putting caps on the amount of damages claimed against nursing homes has failed after voting took place in the House Civil Practice Subcommittee. However, the sponsor of the proposal, Rep. Jon Lundberg later said that they would try again in the coming year. For the bill to advance, it must be supported by a majority vote in the subcommittee.
Lundberg said that there are definite need for changes in the way damage are claimed. He expects that in the next year, the proposal would come up with a different outcome. The proposal necessitates the damage amount to be capped and to be in proportion to the number of hours the nursing home patients are provided with "direct care". It needs mentioning here that the minimum hours of direct care provided in the nursing homes in Tennessee are two hours. The proposal requires that on providing 3.5 hours of care every day by a facility, the maximum damage would be of the amount of $300,000. However, if the care provided is below two hours, no cap on the damage amount would be required.
It has also been asked in the proposal to make it mandatory for the nursing homes to allow patients as well as their families to evaluate the facilities they provide. The results of evaluation would come up to the state Health Department that would make it accessible to the public.
Better Care Recommended
Rep. Henry Fincher who voted against, spoke out against the bill as he said that the measure amounted to "Kill Old People Cheap Act." According to him, the problem with the bill lies in the fact that patient care is not guaranteed. The proposal is however sure to help Corporations to make money while hurting and killing aged patients. Fincher said that the policy is not right in Tennessee.
A report brought out by AARP Tennessee last month says that in order to reduce litigation costs, the state nursing homes owners should first see to it that the quality of heath care is improved. This could be achieved by increasing the staffing and better oversight as well as opening smaller facilities.
Patrick Willard, who is the advocacy director for AARP Tennessee said that what is required to be done is to look for an answer that would provide better quality of health care in nursing homes. Senator Ron Ramsey has made imposition of limits on lawsuits for malpractice against nursing homes for the session as one of his top priorities.
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LTC Resources: Novel Services Ensure Elderly People to Stay Home