Obama Considers New Best Practices for Nursing Homes

President Obama Speaking at the Conference on AgingThe federal government is considering a new rule that would improve the care and safety of the 1.5 million patients living in more than 15,000 long-term care facilities or nursing homes in the US.

The current requirements for Medicare and Medicaid participation have not been reviewed or updated since 1991. Since that time there has been extensive evidence-based research that has enhanced knowledge of resident safety and health outcomes.

“In light of these changes, we recognized the need to evaluate the regulations on a comprehensive basis, from both a structural and a content perspective,” according to the rule.

A proposed rule being considered by the Department of Health and Human Services would create best practices for nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs. The rule would require staff be properly trained on caring for patients with dementia and preventing elder abuse.

The rule also would require facilities improve their care planning and provide more food choices. Nursing homes would also be required to update infection prevention and control programs.

“These proposed changes are necessary to reflect the substantial advances that have been made over the past several years in the theory and practice of service delivery and safety,” HHS wrote in the rule. “These proposals are also an integral part of our efforts to achieve broad-based improvements both in the quality of health care furnished through federal programs, and in patient safety, while at the same time reducing procedural burdens on providers.”

President Barack Obama initiated the call for improved regulations at 2015 White Conference on Aging. The president is working to bring nursing facilities towards utilizing the current trends in medical technology.

In an excerpt from the deliverable, “The 2015 White House Conference on Aging is harnessing technology to bring today’s conversation to communities across the country.  Hundreds of watch parties are happening across every state in America and are being hosted by organizations such as AARP, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Diverse Elders Coalition, Leadership Council of Aging Organizations members, and numerous cities and counties.”

Many nursing homes are already on this course, but the new regulations will ensure that these rules are followed across the board.


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