February 27, 2019

Senator Haskell Lauds Advancement Of Nursing Home Legislation

HARTFORD, CT – Today, State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) lauded the advancement of legislation he introduced to the General Assembly that would increase oversight and transparency of nursing homes throughout the state, protecting their patients. The legislation underwent a public hearing in front of the Public Health Committee this week.

Senate Bill No. 375, “An Act Concerning Nursing Home Staffing Levels,” is intended to ensure nursing homes adequately and accurately report the number of staff working in patient care. This would make sure nursing homes are not misreporting staff levels and would provide additional information to patients and their families.

“Research shows that nursing homes will often report administrative staff, and other staff members who don’t directly care for patients, in direct care roles,” said Sen. Haskell. “That skews numbers that directly correlate to patients receiving the care they need and the care they deserve. About one in every six Connecticut residents is over the age of 65. This is an issue that will directly impact their health. I applaud the Public Health Committee for discussing this important bill and I look forward to continuing to work to get it passed.”

“There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates a link between adequate nurse staffing and better patient outcomes,” said testimony submitted by the Connecticut Senate Democrats. “When nursing homes are short of staff, nurses and aides scramble to deliver meals, ferry bedbound residents to the bathroom and answer calls for pain medication. Essential medical tasks such as repositioning a patient to avert bedsores can be overlooked when workers are overburdened, sometimes leading to avoidable hospitalizations.”

Testimony submitted by the Connecticut Department of Public Health said there are national concerns about nursing home staffing being too low during the weekend.

“When nursing home staffing levels are too low, both patients and staff are put at risk,” said Sen. Haskell. “Patients may have to wait for care, or receive inadequate care, while staff members are tasked to take care of too many patients. This can even lead to injuries, for instance if a patient falls out of their bed trying to find help or if a staff member tries to lift a patient by themselves because there is no one to help them. We need to do right by our elders and those we trust to take care of them.”