Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bill that puts patients ahead of paperwork passes House subcommittee

On Thursday, the House Health & Human Services Quality Subcommittee heard HB 621 by Rep. Jim Frishe (R-54), the Nursing Home Quality Efficiency Act which eliminates some outdated reports and requirements in nursing homes which duplicate federal law/regulations. FHCA supports this bill which would help facilities alleviate some of the cost burdens that come with duplicative requirements and excessive paperwork, allowing staff more time to focus on resident care.

Rep. Frishe, Matt Hudson (R-101) and Ronald "Doc" Renuart (R-18) spoke favorably on this important issue, and during the meeting, Florida Catholic Conference and Florida Association of Homes and Services for the Aging stood in support of the bill. Standing in opposition were AARP, SEIU and the Florida Justice Association.  Back and forth testimony during the meeting gave way to common misconceptions about the regulatory environments in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, causing Rep. Renuart to clarify for the committee and audience members present the differences between these two care settings, including the significant oversight process for nursing homes that have been in place since landmark elder care reform was passed in 2001 (SB 1202), which have resulted in substantial improvements in resident quality care.

The bill passed, and its companion, SB 482 by Sen. Jack Latvala (R-16), is expected to be heard in the Senate next week.

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