AARP Ohio State Director Holly Holtzen, issued the following statement today in response to H.B. 169 provisions directing funding to nursing homes:
“We are pleased that the Ohio Senate passed H.B. 169 with funding to bolster long-term care services. However, we are disappointed that such a large allocation of public resources for nursing homes, and HCBS has zero transparency in how that funding will be used. Ohio nursing home residents, their families and Ohio taxpayers deserve better.
Accountability for public funding that goes to these facilities is critical to ensure that Ohio nursing homes adequately use these funds to improve the lives of nursing home residents and the staff who work to keep them safe. The pandemic exposed chronic, ongoing issues in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, emphasizing the urgent need for reform and the importance of providing high-quality, safe care for residents. Nationwide 186,000 lives were lost in long-term care facilities, including more than 8,000 lives lost here in Ohio facilities.
AARP Ohio will continue to urge action to combat the national tragedy occurring in Ohio’s nursing homes, make sure it does not happen again, and ensure that public funds provided to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are going to direct patient care for the health and safety of residents. More than a year and a half into the pandemic, nursing homes continue to face chronic problems that leave residents and staff vulnerable to COVID-19 and other infectious disease outbreaks.