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The Health Care Law & You

What the Health Care Law Means for Nursing Home Care

In Spanish l The health care law gives you more information about nursing homes so you can make better choices when selecting one or monitoring the care of loved ones who reside there.

Provides more information about nursing home care

  • You will have easier access to more information on nursing homes to help you select a nursing home or monitor the care of a friend or loved one in a nursing home.
  • You will be able to get information about many things, such as who owns the nursing home, how much the nursing home spends on resident care compared with administrative costs, the hours of nursing care residents receive, staff turnover rates, and the number of complaints and violations.
  • Your state must have a comprehensive website where you can find information about local nursing homes, including inspection and complaint reports. Information like this will help you and your family evaluate your care options.

You’ll also find additional useful information on Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website, www.medicare.gov/NHcompare. This online tool has detailed information to help you find a nursing home that best fits your needs. You will also find links to state nursing home websites and inspection information, a resident rights page, staffing information and a standard complaint form.

Increases consumer protections

  • It’s easier for you to file complaints about the quality of care in a nursing home. Your state is required to have a process in place to resolve complaints. The process must ensure that you are not retaliated against if you file a complaint. You must be notified that your complaint has been received and how it has been resolved.
  • Nursing homes in your state must meet new requirements if the facility closes. Residents and their families must be told of the closure far enough in advance so they'll have time to make plans for relocation. Your state also has to ensure that all residents have been successfully relocated prior to the closure.
  • Your states can participate in a new national grant program to expand criminal background checks to more employees who work in long-term care facilities. Currently, most states require some sort of a background check of certified nursing assistants who work in nursing homes. The grant opportunity provides funding for states to do background checks of additional types of employees who come in direct contact with patients and residents. If your state partipates, it will receive funding to conduct background checks of employees such as health aides who come into your home, assisted-living workers and more nursing home staff.

Updated August 2013

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