Two proposals aimed at preventing and investigating abuse of nursing home patients appear to be dead or stalled in the ongoing state legislative session, according to their sponsors.
In Kentucky, nursing home deaths from neglect and abuse often aren't criminally prosecuted because the coroner isn't called to investigate. But a bill that would require Kentucky nursing homes to report all deaths to the local coroner will not go forward this session because of opposition, its sponsor said.
Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville, said he won't call House Bill 69 for a vote in his House Health and Welfare Committee, citing opposition from the nursing home industry and budget concerns from the state's chief medical examiner, Tracey Corey.
Corey has said she would need to hire three medical examiners and support staff to handle the additional death investigations that could result from calling coroners after each nursing home death.
Burch said he tried to compromise with nursing home industry leaders with no success.
Senate Bill 44 is stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where sponsor Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville, says he and committee chairman Tom Jensen, R-London, are "waiting on the go-ahead from the leadership office to move the bill."
In an interview Thursday, Jensen said he has spent much time on a bill dealing with state prisons and has not reviewed with Senate leaders SB 44 and several other bills before his committee.
Jensen said he thinks SB 44 has merit but it may be getting late in the session to consider it.
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Proposals to Curb Nursing Home Abuse Faltering in Frankfort