Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) have asked the CMS and the General Accounting Office to look into fire safety standards for nursing homes after a number of seniors died or were seriously injured in nursing home fires. Most recently, 14 patients died in a fire in a Nashville nursing home. In 2000 the CMS ruled that older facilities did not have to install sprinkler systems unless they were being renovated. In light of recent events, the senators have asked the CMS to tell them how well federal fire regulations are protecting seniors; what modifications to the regulations may be needed; and what the agency is doing to ensure the safety of nursing home residents in regard to fires. The CMS has until Oct. 31 to respond. -- by Tony Fong
Senators: Are nursing home fire rules enough?
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