New Health Care Bill Threatens Protection of Preexisting Conditions. Take Action

 

Adult Care Home Residents Win Added Protection

The North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation (House Bill 474) in May that is intended to protect residents of adult care home (also called assisted living facilities) from transmitted infections and errors related to medication dispensing.

The bill, which received bipartisan support, came about after the infection-related hepatitis B deaths of six people in an assisted living facility in the eastern part of the state last year.

The bill, which received bipartisan support, came about after the infection-related hepatitis B deaths of six people in an assisted living facility in the eastern part of the state last year.

Provisions of the bill which will be implemented over the course of the next two years will increase minimum continuing education, training and competency evaluation requirements for aides in adult care homes who dispense medications and perform tasks such as blood sugar testing. The bill also strengthens adult care home infection control requirements and directs the state to review a home’s compliance with written infection control policies including practices for injections and any other procedures where bleeding typically occurs.

AARP North Carolina was a strong advocate for the passage of this legislation. Mary Bethel, Co-Director of Advocacy with the AARP state office, notes that adult care homes have many residents who take numerous medications and who have health conditions such as diabetes which necessitate the need for special attention to infection control procedures.

“By increasing the knowledge and skills of staff involved in administering medications and performing tasks where there may be blood as well as enhancing facility infection control procedures, the risk of residents contracting an infection or experiencing other problems related to medications should be greatly reduced” says Bethel.

Adult care homes provide care to those who need supervision and require help with daily activities such as eating, bathing, and dressing. More than 28,000 people live in 1,200 adult care homes in the state. This number includes approximately 2,500 people who reside in family care homes – facilities that have six or fewer residents.

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