State advocates are concerned that reduced federal regulation of nursing homes will remove incentives for facilities, including a poorly rated Williamstown nursing home, to improve the care patients receive.

The Berkshire Eagle  reports In addition to being regularly surveyed by the state Department of Public Health, nursing homes nationwide are monitored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Advocates and legislators worked for years to secure new protections for residents of nursing homes. The year 2016 brought national long-term care regulatory reform.

The new rules included an increase in infection control, added training for staff and protections against abuse, neglect and exploitation. But those regulations, some of which were due to be implemented in November 2017, were halted by the Trump administration.

In Massachusetts, the move was assailed by the office of Attorney General Maura Healey saying “Patients need more protection, not less “

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid could not be reached for comment Friday.

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