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Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

Representing New Haven, Hamden & North Haven

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Senator Looney Supports Senate Passage Of Bill Increasing Nursing Home Staffing Transparency

HARTFORD, CT – Today, the Senate passed legislation requiring nursing homes to increase transparency and ensure their residents receive effective care on a vote of 31 to 4. Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) endorsed its passing. The Senate Democratic Caucus proposed the concept as part of its 2019 agenda.

“I’m pleased that the Senate passed this important bill,” said Senator Looney. “Quality patient care is reliant on an adequate resident-to-staff ratio. Knowing the nursing staff levels is critical for families when they are faced with making a decision about which nursing home is the best for their family member. This legislation will ensure that patients are receiving proper medical treatment, improve patient health outcomes, and reassure family members that their loved ones are receiving the care they need.”

Senate Bill No. 375, “An Act Concerning Nursing Home Staffing Levels,” is designed to ensure nursing home residents receive adequate care. It requires these homes to calculate and post information about the total number of nurses and nursing aides who directly work with patients, the minimum number of staff required for each shift, the total number of residents at the home, details on reporting a potential violation, and other pertinent information. That information must be retained for 18 months.

If a nursing home violates patient care or nursing staff levels, this legislation allows the Department of Public Health to potentially take disciplinary action against the home. It additionally protects employees and residents who report suspected violations or works with investigators and makes homes liable for damages to employees or residents who would be retaliated against.

The Department of Public Health reported 247 incidents caused by lapses of care in nursing homes between 2015 and 2018. Not every incident is reported. Senate President Looney testified that the bill’s ensuring transparent reporting of direct care nursing staff levels will additionally allow residents’ family members to be assured their loved ones are receiving appropriate care.

Prior to its approval by the Senate, this legislation passed the Public Health Committee by a 14-11 vote.

 

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