The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act ,(OBRA), was established officially in 1987. This act was necessary as a result of abuse, neglect and poor quality care that was present in all nursing facilities. Children, veterans, mentally handicapped, and elderly were the prime populations in nursing institutions. In this essay, OBRA of '87, under the Nursing Home Care Act regarding the elderly, will be explored and addressed. The policy was established due to severe issues in elderly population facilities. Severe issues included: frequent use of restraints and psychotropic drugs, low quality care, and understaffed facilities. Standards of nursing home care and certain rights for for the elderly residents in the U.S. were enforced by Federal law. State and Federal government were required by law to scrutinize nursing homes and create higher quality standards by using a variety of sanctions. Some of the sanctions included: residents be handed their bill of rights manually, frequent one-on-one evaluations to be implemented, and a requirement of complete care plans and services. Overall, this bill was crucial with respect to a fast growing population that was filling up nursing facilities across America.
Implications for Social Work Practice
This policy is instrumental for the social work profession for numerous reasons. First and foremost, the 1987 requirement by Federal law, stated that if there are more than 120 beds in a nursing facility, they are required to hire a full time social worker. This opened up a whole new market for social workers, they were now a necessary employee required to be hired by law; and therefore they were viewed as a significant and empirical asset to the well-being of the geriatric population.
The new law required assessments and evaluations which provided a sort of outline for the social worker in the sense that it obligated them to interview each and every individual, periodically. Higher quality regulations for services such as nursing ,social, dietary, pharmaceutical and rehabilitation, were enforced and for the social worker these services encompass a cohesive unit which aid in producing positive mental, physical, and emotional treatment.
The M.D.S 3.0, is one of the required assessment forms which is updated periodically, the latest was recently updated in 2010. Sections C, and D are to be filled out by the social worker via interviewing every elderly resident. It is useful because it assesses where the client is at. The questions consist of two parts, the first seven questions assess the cognitive levels, and the second set of questions indicate patients' moods. The cognitive questions help the social worker's preliminary assessment of the patient's level of Dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, etc...if applicable. The second series of mood assessment questions help the worker understand weather or not a patient is depressed, and the severity of their depression. The M.D.S. Forms are administered periodically,...