Public Comments for 01/24/2023 Appropriations - Health and Human Resources Subcommittee
HB1446 - Certified nursing facilities; minimum staffing standards, administrative sanctions.
Last Name: Phillips Locality: North Chesterfield

Regarding HB1446, minimum staffing standards for nursing homes. I am writing from my many experiences related to nursing home care of family members. I can tell you about the many times that the level of care provided was inadequate or even dangerous, however I suspect that if any of you has had a family member in a nursing home, you already know. I would like to refer you to a paper published 06/29/2020 in the National Library of Medicine PubMed, titled Appropriate Nurse Staffing Levels for US Nursing Homes. The authors of this paper note that several organizations have determined that 4.1 hours per patient day would be the recommended number of hours from RNs, CNAs, and LPNs combined. This would permit appropriate care to reduce the insufficient care that results in urinary tract infections, falls, and pressure ulcers, all of which can result in needless deaths. This staffing needs to be consistent across shifts as well. In my experience night and weekend shifts are particularly skeletal. I would say also that minimum staffing needs to take into consideration the actual needs of the patients- some need much more intensive care than others and that also affects the ability of staff to meet their needs. This bill does not approach asking for that many hours, but it is the best we have and it is a start to addressing this shameful situation which truly can mean life or death for some of our most vulnerable members of this commonwealth. Please do your best to get this bill passed during this session.

Last Name: Wood Organization: NVAN Locality: Arlington

Here is the brief comment I would have in person had time allowed: I am Erica Wood, representing the Northern Virginia Aging Network, which includes all five Northern Virginia jurisdictions. We have long advocated for nursing home staffing standards to protect Virginia’s 30,000 residents. We appreciate Delegates Watts and Del. Orrock moving this process forward, and hope they will continue working and collaborating toward an effective and timely bill. Especially important to us is consistent enforcement through both corrective opportunities and sanctions so that standards can make a real difference in the lives of residents. Thank you

Last Name: Pompey Organization: Justice and Change for Victims of Nursing Facilities Locality: Richmond Va

Goodmorning,   My name is Tracey  Pompey,  I am a former Nursing Assistant  and Vice President  of Justice and Change for Victims of Nursing Facilities Org.   Each member of this organization has lived the pain of  losing a parent to Nursing Facility Neglect.   I have spoken with so many families that are living through this same pain. There are Important key elements in this bill that must be  addressed.   First, this bill does not address Training and Accountability in these nursing facilities.  Properly trained staff is key when dealing with seniors with a variety of illnesses.  During my years as a Nursing Assistant, I have observed facilities hiring staff just to have a warm body in place and would put them on the floor without any orientation. Secondly, there must be a clear  statement of accountability regarding  Underperforming or Non Compliant facilities. There should not be wiggle room under any circumstances.   Currently, failing facilities wouldn’t face any consequences for 6 years. This is Unacceptable!  This is an injustice to the countlesss families that have and will continue to  suffer the loss of a loved one at the hands of these Nursing  Facilities and Corporations that for decades have been allowed to put Profit Over Lives of vulnerable seniors! Lastly, to address  limiting exemptions,  As written, this  bill allows for poor performers to be exempted from facing sanctions;  The question here is Why? Why are facilities whose mission statement is to care for aging seniors, given a pass when they fail to provide  that care?   Again, Unacceptable!  Clear statements of Accountability must be in place.  When it comes to Accountability, there should be an Inspection every quarter to ensure that facilities are compliant.  Having an Inspection once a year is too long. I have seen where facilities would scramble knowing that the inspector was on the way. Allowing for more frequent Inspections would provide more transparency.  It is time that our seniors get the care that they deserve. Profit Over Lives Must Stop! Agencies put in place to protect our seniors in nursing facilities have failed for decades. Please, Let's get it right this time. Justice and Change for Victims of Nursing Facilities! #WeareTheirVoice  

Last Name: Cohen Organization: AARP Locality: Norfolk

Del Orrock- I am a Masters Level nurse who has worked in this field for a significant period of time. The way this bill is currently written does not significantly address the issues it is supposed to champion. There are absolutely no near term resolutions to address the ongoing problems and there is poor accountability of the organizations who are currently charged with the responsibility of caring for our aging population. As our population ages there will be an increasing need for these nursing facilities. The issues that the AARP coalition has brought forward are immediate and will only worsen if not addressed now. As an elected official it is your responsibility to bring stronger regulation to this industry. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Last Name: Culp Locality: Hanover

I wanted to ask you to support HB1446. It is a very important bill that improves the standards of care for nursing homes. My uncle has been in a nursing home for many years and in the last few years I've seen his quality of care decrease significantly to the point that I am genuinely concerned that he is not being cared for as well as he should be because of staffing shortages. By instituting minimum staffing standards, it will provide needed reforms to our nursing home facilities. Thank You

HB1599 - Individuals with developmental disabilities; DMAS to amend certain waivers providing services, etc.
No Comments Available
HB1791 - Veterans' Behavioral Health Services Grant Matching Fund; created, report.
Last Name: Alexander Organization: Easterseals Serving the District of Columbia, Maryland, & Virginia Locality: Silver Spring , MD

Comments Document

Testimony in support of HB 1791, a bill to establish the Veterans’ Behavioral Health Services Grant Matching Fund, that would create a matching grant program for nonprofit community-based behavioral health clinics to provide critical services for veterans, active service members, and their families. Easterseals is an organization that provides these clinical services.

End of Comments