Small Homes Gain Traction in Washington
The small home movement received its most prominent boost yet when a group of six U.S. senators introduced the Nursing Home Accountability and Improvement Act of 2021.
Among its many provisions, the bill would create a $1.3 billion demonstration program that would directly fund the creation of new small-home nursing campuses, either through renovations or completely new construction. If passed, the legislation would provide up to $39 million per facility to implement the types of person-centered design features and workforce strategies that Green House homes have long used to provide more empowering care for elders.
The Green House Project wholeheartedly supports this portion of the reform bill and applauds the six lawmakers’ sweeping vision for change. Completely overhauling the nation’s outdated nursing home infrastructure will take significant investments of capital, time, and oversight to ensure that elders remain at the center of all reforms, and this proposed demonstration program offers a blueprint that can be replicated in states across the country.
To learn more about the bill, check out The Green House Project’s quick two-page fact sheet. If you’re feeling inspired, we’ve also prepared a script to follow when reaching out to your federal lawmakers — senators and representatives — to express your support for small-home innovation.
ABA: Make Private Rooms Mandatory
The American Bar Association in August 2021 overwhelmingly adopted a resolution calling on Congress to require private bedrooms and bathrooms in nursing homes, urging lawmakers to come up with a phased-in regulatory structure to achieve that goal — while also exploring a variety of incentives for providers to invest in upgrading their aging physical plants.
The ABA offered a host of potential solutions, including:
- Expanding Medicare and Medicaid coverage for private-room care
- Waiving certificate of need (CON) requirements for small-home developments
- Providing low-cost financing options for developers and operators through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other federal agencies
- Revising building-inspection guidelines to accommodate small-home innovations that did not exist when the rules were first developed