Volume XXXI, Number 11
Legislative Committee on Aging Hears THCA Testimony
THCA President and CEO Kevin Warren and Paul Gerharter, RN, of Touchstone Communities, testified last month at the Capitol before the Joint Committee on Aging.
The committee invited THCA to testify on two topics it is examining: Geriatric training for health professionals and prevention of influenza and bacterial pneumonia in long term care facilities.
Warren spoke to the committee about the first issue. He described high turnover rates in nursing and the difficulty of finding and keeping qualified staff. He recommended that the state:
- Assess the effectiveness and adequacy of current educational curriculums and training programs in technical schools and universities specifically designed to develop and expand the long-term care workforce.
- Consider the need for development of a Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI), that could be offered across the state, consisting of training for working with residents with aggressive behaviors.
- Consider the need to utilize the state Local Mental Health Authority (LMHA) and Local Intellectual Developmental Disability Authority (LIDDA) Service Coordinators with associated expertise to coordinate needed PASRR Services in the long term care setting.
Gerharter testified on the second. He explained current requirements for vaccinations in facilities and described how those will change under the federal government’s new Requirements of Participation that will be phased in over the next three years.
He said that facilities are working hard to bring up vaccination rates and that the effectiveness of the new regulations should be assessed after they have been fully implemented. He also recommended that an ad hoc group be convened in order to identify the root causes of vaccination non-compliance and recommend further steps.
To read both testimonies, follow these links:
The committee will issue a report on these and other issues to the Legislature before the end of 2016. THCA continues to work with the committee as the report on these issues is compiled.