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Group Can Collect Signatures for Nursing Facility 'Patient Rights' Ballot Issue

person signing petition
Steve Estvanik
A measure that would set minimum care standards for patients in nursing facilities is advancing and could make it onto the ballot before Ohio voters in 2022.

Supporters of a bill of rights for nursing home patients have gotten the go-ahead to start collecting signatures to put the issue before voters as an amendment to the Ohio Constitution.The Ohio Ballot Board voted to allow the proposed constitutional amendment to move forward.

The group backing the "Nursing Facility Patient's Bill of Rights" measure must now collect nearly 443,000 valid signatures.

But having passed this year's deadline, the issue wouldn't appear on a ballot until the 2022 general election at the earliest. 

The proposed amendment would create specific guidelines for patient care, including nurse-to-patient ratios and minimum hours of direct care per patient. 

Under the amendment a skilled nursing facility must have:

  • 1 Licensed Nurse per every 5 patients with "higher medical acuity needs"
  • 1 Certified Nurse Aide per ever 6 patients with "higher medical acuity needs"
  • 1 Licensed Nurse per every 8 patients with "lower medical acuity needs"
  • 1 Certified Nurse Aide per every 8 patients with "lower medical acuity needs"

Supporters told the ballot board that this issue appears to be unique and not part of a national movement. 
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow
Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.