August 22,2007

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Grassley continues efforts to improve safety for nursing home residents

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley has asked the federal government agency that’s responsible for helping to safeguard nursing home residents to report on its efforts to improve fire safety at facilities nationwide.

Grassley said the independent Government Accountability Office made specific recommendations in the wake of fatal nursing home fires three years ago and that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last year decided that all nursing homes must be retrofit with sprinkler systems. In a letter to the Acting Administrator, Grassley asked about implementation of this sprinkler initiative, including information about any waivers to the requirement, and for an update on the effort to improve detection of fire risks through the survey and certification of nursing homes that is overseen by the federal government.