Committee Moves Forward on Nursing Home Staffing Bill

Posted on March 26, 2019 by Greg MacKinnon


HARTFORD — The legislature’s Human Services Committee unanimously voted to move legislation increasing minimum staffing levels in Connecticut nursing homes from 1.4 hours per patient to 2.3 hours per patient to the Senate floor during a committee meeting late Tuesday morning.

State Representatives Michelle Cook, D-Torrington, and Jay Case, R-Winsted, who also serve on the Human Services Committee, championed this bill to improve the quality of care for patients in skilling nursing facilities.

“We must prioritize our state spending to make sure resources are available to take care of one of our most vulnerable populations, without increasing taxes,” Rep. Case said. “Minimum nurse staffing requirements are enforced to ensure patients and residents of nursing facilities are truly getting adequate, daily care. It is imperative that we follow through with this legislation and ensure that there is a quantifiable number to show how much care an individual is actually receiving.”

“Too many of our nursing homes are understaffed, and this has affected the level of care patients receive. Our CNA’s are tremendously important in the care of our residents. The demands on them are extensive and with limited staff, their care for the residents becomes even more important. People deserve more than 1.9 hours of care in a 24 hour timeframe,” said Rep. Cook. “When it comes to the health of our residents, everyone is entitled to high-quality care, and I am pleased to see the committee is prioritizing this. This is an instrumental step forward in updating our state’s current staffing requirements for skilled nursing facilities and protecting patients’ rights to excellent care.”

“I would like to thank Rep. Cook and Rep. Case for their enormous efforts in support of our family members who need the care of a skilled nursing facility. Because of their leadership, the State of Connecticut now has a ratio of care ‘dedicated to residents and CNA’s’ that didn’t before exist. This legislation is desperately needed and very important,” said Susan Cook, whose mother has been receiving care in a Torrington nursing home.

“I would like to give a great big shout out to Representatives Cook and Case for their efforts on moving Senate Bill 1079 to increase staffing levels in nursing homes out of committee to be voted on by the General Assembly,” said Torrington resident Tom Ferrarotti, whose sister is currently resides in a Torrington-based nursing home. “Quality of life is an important concern of mine. For long-term residents, a nursing home becomes home. Their dignity and self-esteem should not be compromised and this bill will go a long way on improving their quality of life.”

Between 2015 and 2018, there were 247 incidents reported due to lapses in care due to falls, neglect, medication errors, and others.