The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shared a new initiative aimed at improving nursing home safety. The move comes after increased pressure by Congress to improve safety due to ongoing reports of abuse and neglect.
As part of the initiative, CMS will create training products for nursing home staff, which will include competency assessment tools, webinars, technical assistance seminars and instructional guides. The goal is to help staff prevent adverse events, strengthen the quality of staff and improve dementia care. The initiative will be funded by the fines nursing homes pay to CMS for noncompliance.
There is also a separate proposed rule to implement a federal law that would allow CMS to enforce legal action on nursing home staff in cases of abuse or other illegal activities. The rule outlines how CMS will impose monetary penalties of up to $200,000 against nursing home staff or volunteers who fail to report reasonable suspicion of crimes. It would also impose a two-year exclusion from federal health programs if they retaliate against whistleblowers.
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