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Bill To Establish Minimum Nursing Staff Ratios for Health Facilities Unlikely To Pass Indiana Legislature

Indiana House Bill 1023, sponsored by State Representative Clyde Kersey (D, 43rd Dist.), would set minimum direct care nursing staff ratios and registered nurse staffing for Indiana health facilities beginning July 1, 2012, but appears unlikely to pass this year.

The bill would require every health facility, including nursing homes and other extended care facilities, to maintain sufficient direct care nursing staff to provide nursing and related services that meet the needs of each resident of the facility. The bill specifies a staffing ratio of one direct care nursing staff member per every six residents for the day shift from 7a.m. to 7 p.m., and a staffing ratio of one direct care nursing staff member per every nine residents for the evening shift from 7:01 p.m. to 6:59 a.m. The bill would also require that for every 40 residents, a facility to have present at the facility at all times at least one registered nurse who is providing direct care services and is not acting as director of nursing.

HB 1023 was read for the first time January 9, 2012 and referred to the House Committee on Public Health. No further action has been taken on the bill, and it does not appear to have sufficient support to reach the full House in this year’s short legislative session.

Read the entire bill:
http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2012/IN/IN1023.1.html

Track the bill’s progress through the 2012 General Assembly:
http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo? year=2012&session=1&request=getBill&docno=1023&doctype=HB#latest_info

Many families may not be aware that Indiana has no minimum staffing ratios for nursing homes that care for vulnerable loved ones. Before your loved one becomes a resident at a nursing home, be sure to ask questions about staffing and satisfy yourself that the facility is prepared to offer adequate staffing and care.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of substandard care in a nursing home, please contact Sweeney Law Firm and let our medical and legal experts review the facts to determine if you have a case. Sweeney Law Firm reviews possible nursing home malpractice cases at no charge, and works on a contingency fee basis. There is no cost for representation unless there is a cash recovery for you.