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At the creation of the United States, the states were assumed to have the power and authority of self-governing nations. Each state has the general power to protect the health of its population within its geographic borders as long as the laws do not obstruct the rights of individuals guaranteed by the constitution.
The federal government regulates health matters through the powers granted to the federal government in the federal constitution. This allows the federal government to create benefit programs and to indirectly regulate local activities that it would not have the authority to regulate directly. For example, the federal government created the Medicare program to pay ...view middle of the document...

Although a complex regulatory system of state licensure and federal certification is in place, problems of poor quality care, neglect and abuse of residents is still occurring at an alarming rate. Depending on the underlying facts, a claim against a nursing home may be based on either statute or common law. The Nursing Home Care Act (63 O.S. (1991) § 1-1901, et seq.) provides that the owner and licensee of a nursing home are liable to a resident for any intentional or negligent act or omission of their agents or employees which injures the resident. The Act sets forth both general and specific duties imposed upon a nursing home. For example, the Act requires that every resident shall have the right to have adequate and appropriate medical care, and that every resident shall be free from mental and physical abuse (Sherwood, 2014).
In 2013, an estimated 3.3 million Americans were living in the nation's nearly 16,000 nursing homes during. That number translates to 1 in 7 people ages 65 and up, and more than 1 in 5 of those 85 and older (Comarow, 2014). Most nursing homes are enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid and that is the reason why the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sets and enforces standards for nursing homes.
The CMS funds most of the costs of Medicare/Medicaid certification and oversees the performance of state survey agencies to make sure that the federal regulations are implemented appropriately. States also have their own licensing requirements, with which all nursing homes in the state must conform. State regulations may parallel or exceed federal requirements and generally have separate provisions for licensing nursing homes, undertaking surveys or inspections, investigating complaints, identifying deficiencies, and taking enforcement...

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