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September 14, 2021

The ABA House of Delegates Approves our Nursing Home Resolution Calling for the Downsizing of Facilities

The PDF in which this article appears can be dowloaded here: Bifocal Vol. 43 Issue 1.

The Commission on Law and Aging is pleased to announce that on August 10, 2021, the ABA House of Delegates adopted the following resolution, introduced by the Commission on Law and Aging with additional cosponsors:

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the U.S. Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services to institute a review of the advisability and feasibility of phasing in size and design standards for nursing homes that would require small, household model facilities with single rooms and private baths, given their safety and infection control advantages in public health emergencies such as the Covid-19 pandemic;

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges Congress and the executive branch to provide financial incentives for the development and operation of nursing homes meeting  size and design standards developed pursuant to this review through means such as, but not limited to, restructuring the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), tax incentives under the Internal Revenue Service, or actions by other executive branch agencies to provide or encourage low cost financing for the redesign, remodeling, building and rebuilding of nursing homes meeting these standards; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to change Medicare and Medicaid regulations and payment policies to pay for single private rooms and bathrooms for all residents, with reasonable reimbursement rates for such rooms.

An article version of the report to the resolution, entitled "Policy Change Putting the Home Back into Nursing Homes," explains the reasons for the resolution and can be read in the August-September 2021 issue of Bifocal.