Capitol Correspondence - 03.04.19

Senator Grassley Investigates Nursing Home Safety After Woman with I/DD in Coma Gives Birth

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ANCOR is sharing this article by Politico to share the priorities of the Senate Finance Committee. The investigation will be led by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over Medicaid and is chaired by Senator Grassley (R-IA). ANCOR will be following and reporting on the hearing the Finance Committee has scheduled for March 6 at 10:15am ET – a video will be available here, along with a witness list and testimony.

As written by Politico Pulse:

“Like many Americans, the Senate Finance Committee chairman was horrified by recent reports that a mentally incapacitated woman was raped and impregnated by an Arizona nursing home worker. Unlike most, Grassley has the power to call hearings on nursing home safety and oversight, which his committee will begin next week, POLITICO scooped.

— The Arizona case is just the latest troubling example of improprieties at nursing homes, Grassley’s staff told PULSE.

In recent months, the longtime industry watchdog has raised concerns that CMS allowed nursing homes to stay in its programs after those facilities had track records of putting patients at risk. Grassley also questioned whether CMS was aggressively monitoring nursing home quality and enforcing standards.

— On the docket to testify at next week’s hearing: Kate Goodrich, the CMS chief medical officer, and DOJ’s Antoinette Bacon, who serves as national elder justice coordinator.

Grassley also is calling Patricia Blank, an Iowa woman whose mother died in a nursing home that has been cited for neglect and abuse.

— One big issue to watch: How Grassley’s investigation intersects with the Trump administration’s effort to roll back Obama-era protections for nursing home patients.

CMS in 2017 proposed a rule that would require patients and their families to preemptively give up their right to sue nursing homes for negligence. Patient advocates have spent two years fighting the plan.”