Kentucky legislator Rick Nelson of Middlesboro filed House Bill 573 back in February that would require long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, “to meet minimum staffing requirements” in order to receive licensure or re-licensure after July 30thof 2018. The fact is, understaffed nursing homes contribute to abuse and neglect occurring, and with this bill, facilities would be forced to bring on more workers so that fewer cases of misconduct develop. Nelson stated that while many facilities have professionals who are “doing the best they can, they can’t do more than is humanly possible.” And that is why he created House Bill 573.

Under the new bill, which was expected to be discussed during the 2018 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly which occurred mid-April, the following would be required of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in KY given the bill is passed:


  1. One registered or licensed practical nurse must be on duty per every 21 residents during the day and per every 29 residents at night.
  2. One nurse’s aide must be on duty per every nine to 10 residents during the day and evening shifts and per every 19 residents at night.
  3. Facilities with 75 beds or more would be required to have a registered nurse supervisor on staff during day and evening shifts.
  4. Larger facilities would need a full-time assistant nursing director and education director, according to WYMT.


Now, in the event a facility isn’t able to meet these ratios over a period of two consecutive days, they would be “barred from taking on new admissions until they can demonstrate that they have taken corrective action.” These facilities might also incur a fine of up to $1,000 for each day they are not in compliance.

Nelson stated that the ultimate goal of the new bill would be to ensure better care is provided for your family, friends, and neighbors. Another aspect that was proposed with House Bill 573 was that it would “establish a permanent committee to study how Kentucky can improve long-term care staffing needs in the years ahead.” House Bill 573 is geared toward giving residents the care they need and require. Kentucky Today highlighted that research has shown that “a typical long-term care resident should have about 4.1 hours of direct care per day with medical staff to avoid unnecessary decline and injury.”

Currently, some facilities have staff members tending to 30 or more patients and they aren’t provided with any sort of relief. This means their time is rushed, conditions are getting overlooked, and some patients aren’t being provided with the quality care that their condition requires. Nelson believes the bill will be able to address this issue and allot nurses and other healthcare workers the time they need to care for these residents.

When an individual chooses to go and live in a nursing home or a family finds it is their best option for their elderly relative to go and live in one of these facilities, they expect that they are going to receive the quality care necessary. Sadly, with the conditions nursing homes are operating under today, it makes it difficult for some residents to receive this. Hopefully, if this new bill is passed, it will help reduce the number of nursing home neglect cases that continue to be filed.


And if you have a loved one who was injured or mistreated while living in a nursing home in Knox, KY, contact today. We will help you locate a Knox, KY nursing home abuse attorney who can determine what needs to be done so that the facility and/or workers are held accountable for their actions.