A Georgia House panel Monday approved a bill that would toughen penalties for operating an unlicensed personal care home, raising a first offense to a felony from a misdemeanor. The vote came after compelling testimony from Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn, who described to the House Health and Human Services Committee two cases of abuse in unlicensed Cobb County homes.
New efforts to improve care coordination among hospitals, nursing homes and other providers are succeeding in reducing readmission rates, experts say. Georgia’s nursing homes and hospitals are collaborating more than ever to reduce readmissions, say officials with Georgia’s Quality Improvement Organization , a state-based group funded by Medicare to review medical care.
More than 900 U.S. nursing homes, including six in Georgia, have been listed by federal officials as not fully complying with a regulation to have automatic fire sprinklers in every patient area. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a memo to state officials last week on the sprinkler rule compliance. The six facilities represent less than 2 percent of the nursing homes in the state.
Months after a high-profile fight to renew Georgia’s provider fee, the hospital industry is again concerned about the fee’s fate. This time, the source of the industry’s anxiety is not the state Capitol, but Washington. As the fiscal standoff intensified last month, the Republican House leadership at one point pushed repealing such Medicaid provider assessments, including those for nursing homes, according to hospital industry officials.
Advocates for the elderly are getting nervous about the fate of legislation that would let residents of assisted living homes stay there longer. The bill easily passed the Senate, but with three days left in the General Assembly, the House has yet to vote on it.
Lawmakers will be especially busy during Monday's scheduled Day-29 of the 40 day General Assembly calendar, as Crossover Day approaches. Wednesday is the last day a piece of legislation has to pass at least one chamber in order to have a chance to become law by the legislative session's end.