State nursing homes were regulated by federal laws that were authorized in the year 1967 by the US Congress. These laws were later updated again in the years 1980 and also in 1987 and the regulations in force spell out the requirements for each facility which must provide certain services that ensure that patients get good quality of care. In other words, these regulations are there to ensure that the patient attains or even maintains the best physical and mental and also psychosocial state of well being.
There are several regulations that have been put in place to ensure that that state nursing homes allow patients a choice in terms of activities and schedules and also healthcare that are of an acceptable level. These regulations are helping patients who are being taken care of in a nursing home which in turn are mushrooming all across the US.
Medical technologies are improving and this has resulted in greater longevity among people. Baby boomers are fast approaching the age of retirement and so are in need of healthcare as well as medical services. Nursing homes in the US are not governed by any standards and with many of their patients being in very frail condition it is important that the nursing homes be regulated by the government.
The US Department of Health has reported a major increase in cases of nursing home abuse which rose by thirty percent in the year 2001. This has forced state as well as federal governments to step and do something to curb such abuse. State regulations of various US nursing homes were a result of the widespread nursing home abuse that patients were being subjected to.
Mostly, state laws in respect of nursing homes were not put in place fast enough and those that were spelt out simply followed the direction of the federal government regulations. This is because the federal government funds Medicaid and Medicare while the state governments are entrusted with the task of implementation matters. This meant that state governments simply followed the regulations as drafted by the government at the federal level.
Even so, state regulations do force certain obligatory licensing as well as inspections of US nursing homes in their jurisdiction. State laws related to inspecting and licensing allow the government to make inspections without informing the facility that an inspection is to be made. If a nursing home fails to comply with the directives of the state they are liable to facing severe sanctions including closures.
There are also regulations in place that allow the US Department of Health and Human Services to conduct criminal background checks on employees that are working at any of the many state nursing homes. There is also the OBRA 90 (Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990) that safeguards the main interests as well as safety of patients that are being cared for in a nursing home.
Other regulations that have been put in place deal with transfer, admission and discharge rights of the patient. As of now, patients that are admitted to nursing homes in the US are protected to a certain degree.
Read more: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15027837