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Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
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Bill would require nursing facilities to carry $1 million liability insurance
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Bill Stanley

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A bill that would require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to carry liability insurance has passed both the Senate and House of Delegates and will be sent to the Gov. Bob McDonnell for his signature.

"I have been shepherding this legislation since introducing it during my first General Assembly session in 2011," said sponsor Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Glade Hill). "I remain confident that the governor will see the need for this important legislation."

The bill (SB750) would require nursing facilities to maintain minimum coverage of $1 million to compensate patients for injuries and losses resulting from negligent or criminal acts of the facility.

"I was astounded to discover that the institutions in which we place our most vulnerable citizens are not required to carry any liability insurance at all," Stanley said. "These are our parents and grandparents -- the members of the greatest generation -- who are so vulnerable as they get older, and we should be ensuring that they receive fully adequate care by insisting that the facility be financially responsible for them if they are a victim of abuse or neglect while being cared for at the nursing facility."

A series of reports of incidents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities in which patients have been injured through assault or neglect led Stanley to propose this legislation, he said.

"This is a consumer and patients' rights bill that in fact should have already been the standard of the nursing home and assisted living industry all along," Stanley said.

The senator's investigation showed that there have been cases involving sexual assault of patients, physical assault of patients and neglect of patients, where the nursing homes or assisted living facilities did not pay for the damages they caused because they had little or no insurance or assets to pay the claims, he said.

"This legislation will require the nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have liability coverage," Stanley said. "We require homes for adults and adult and child day care facilities -- why not our nursing homes and assisted living facilities?"

Most facilities already have coverage, but all should maintain it, he added.

"Quite simply, it is an essential part of the care to ensure that in the case of inadequate care or abuse, there is coverage to pay for the damages done," Stanley added.

To contact Stanley during Session, email or call (804) 698-7520.

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