Nevada consumers will have increased medical transparency, consumer information, and quality oversight from legislation supported and passed in the 76th Legislative Session recently concluded. Sentinel events and potentially preventable readmissions to hospitals, nursing home quality information and surgeon/physician procedure experience will need to be reported by hospitals and health care facilities and posted on a state website. There will be increased requirements regarding facility policies, staffing, and notification for hospital acquired infections, and these infections will need to be reported and posted on a state website. There will also be requirements for medical facilities and hospitals to use patient safety checklists. In addition, Patients will have more information about having the symptom or purpose of their medicine included on the label [see my prior post: Combination of Medications may Cause Dementia – dangerous drug combinations to seniors].
Nursing homes will be required to disclose bed-hold policy and ownership. Moreover, protections will be increased for those living in group homes against financial exploitation, and by increasing penalties for unlicensed homes or making referrals to unlicensed or inappropriate homes. Finally, AB 533 was a major step in the right direction in the continuing effort to prevent exploitation of the elderly in Nevada. As a result of this new legislation, an owner or administrator of a medical facility or group care home may not receive any money, personal property or land from a resident or former resident devised by will nor may they be the beneficiary of the resident’s insurance policy. It’s unclear why the Legislature did NOT extend this prohibition to include employees at these types of facilities as well. Interestingly, the Legislature revised the Rules relating to Powers of Attorney and NRS 162.220 was revised to prohibit anyone residing in or about to reside in a hospital, assisted care or skilled nursing care facility from executing a POA designating the facility, an owner or operator of the facility or any employee of the facility as the Agent.
This legislative update is just one more positive step to help further efforts to prevent exploitation of Nevada’s elderly.