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Bolinsky Hails Committee Passage of Major Nursing Home Legislation

Posted on March 13, 2024


HARTFORD – State Rep. Mitch Bolinsky (R-106) hailed the unanimous, Aging Committee passage of a ground-breaking bipartisan policy bill that strengthen our state’s nursing-home oversight and care standards, to better protect patients and their families.

The legislation, HB 5046, An Act Promoting Nursing Home Resident Quality of Life, will address patient quality of life through several provisions, and offer stronger consumer protections for assisted living residents.

“At the Capitol, this legislation is referred to as “The Governor’s Bill” because Governor Lamont identified this policy area as an administration-priority for this session, said Rep. Bolinsky. It’s truly an honor for our committee leadership to be selected to work with the Governors team on this bill.  The work we accomplished on 2023’s Committee Omnibus Bill, HB-5781, was recognized as a great team effort, and demonstrated how well our committee, led by Rep. Garibay, Sen. Hochadel, Sen. Seminara and I worked so well with such a wide spectrum of stakeholders to craft a package that would then pass the House and Senate, unanimously!  In the end, it was all about affordable, common-sense policy.”

The Governor’s Bill uses the same common sense, applied to making nursing homes safer for patients, protecting them from illness transmission, and providing more financially accountable to the taxpayers,” Bolinsky concluded.

Some of the major provisions of the bill are:

  • Phase-out of three & four-bed rooms in nursing homes, beginning July 1, 2025, in the hope of reducing the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Require the Department of Public Health to design a statewide Centers of Excellence Program. This seeks to develop best practices, and open dialogue among all stakeholders in quality care.
  • Require the Department of Public Health to develop an online nursing home “consumer report card’ for the public to view.
  • Require nursing homes to admit applicants without regard to waiting list order if the applicant is transferring from a nursing home that has closed, while providing facilities with a waiver option in certain circumstances.
  • Permits the state to expand an existing forensic audit process for facilities operating with Medicaid reimbursement, to ensure such reimbursements are being expended accordingly, and in compliance with said program.  Violations shall be subject to a system of fines and appeals.

AARP, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with nearly 600,000 members in Connecticut, applauded the legislation, testifying “We will not be able to improve the quality of care in nursing homes until we first address the financial practices that some nursing homeowners use to divert money from patient care in order to make their facilities more profitable.”

Rep. Bolinsky has been recognized with an AARP Connecticut “2023 Legislative Achievement Award”, and as an, AARP National “Capitol Caregiver 2015” Award.