SIKESTON -- Icy weather conditions in Jefferson City kept Lt. Gov. Joe Maxwell from visiting the Clearview Nursing Center in Sikeston Wednesday morning.
Maxwell was scheduled to visit with the staff and residents of the Center to discuss new measures of the Senior Care and Protection Act, which was recently filed in the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate.
"Quality skilled-nursing facilities such as Clearview set a good example in long-term care, and there are many fine facilities like this one in Missouri," Maxwell said in statement. "But there are bad actors in this state and we have got to drive them out in order to protect our most vulnerable citizens."
Maxwell said proposed changes will:
* Toughen the state's neglect statute to make it easier for the Department of Health and Senior Services to bar individuals, who have abused, neglected or financially exploited seniors from working in the eldercare industry.
* Strengthen civil penalties for poor performance. Current law allows nursing homes to avoid civil penalties if problems cited are corrected at the time of reinspection.
* Hold CEOs accountable by requiring nursing home executives to certify the quality of care being provided in their nursing homes.
* Prevent bad actors from other states from entering Missouri. Current law prevents consideration of an operator's history in another state before allowing them to do business in Missouri.
* Reward good nursing homes that consistently provide quality care by reducing bureaucratic red tape.
* Expand the statute of limitations from 180 days to two years for nursing home residents to initiate a complaint regarding any violation of their rights under Missouri's nursing home statutes.
* Allow the Department of Health and Senior Services to revoke the license of a long-term care facility for the same reasons it would deny issuing that license in the first place.
* Require long-term facility administrators to contact the county coroner immediately upon the death of any resident in a facility, including any resident who has been moved to a hospital. Current law does not require a death in a nursing home to be reported to the coroner.