CMS Expects To Set New Nursing Home Staffing Standards

CMS Expects To Set New Nursing Home Staffing Standards
Date: May 17, 2022

Nursing homes are increasingly gaining more residents with dementia and psychiatric issues and people being admitted in from hospitals. With this increase, there are various types of people who observe and look after these types of residents. In creating these staff bills, they must decide who counts toward the minimum staffing requirement. This raises concerns for residents as the staff is the most vital part of receiving care.

In Florida, Governor Desantis has signed a provider-backed bill that supports counting mental health and therapy staff as being able to be included in staff hours. In addition, they also maintain the 3.6 hours per resident per week pertaining to nursing staff and CNAs. The CEO of the National Association of Health Care Assistants continues to advocate for a focus on CNAs no matter how CMS approaches changing these rules. CNAs are essential to the staff so keeping so advocating for more of them to be available is something that should be brought up during the creation of staffing minimums.

Flexibility in Nursing Facilities: Could this bring in more problems?

In the article, they also mention the importance of flexibility. Every facility is different and being flexible is essential because one facility may need more mental health staff, while others may not have any. One facility may also need more staff than a typical facility. More research needs to be done to successfully regulate the nursing homes. The article emphasizes that “You can’t just look at what nursing homes do. You have to look at what nursing homes should do.” Due to the variety of nursing homes, some suspect that the measure of hours will be on a tiered system. Flexibility could also be problematic as nursing homes can take advantage of this. Strict rules must be put in place in order to allow nursing homes to be flexible with who counts as staff.

Problems

Many nursing facilities may run into problems as there are just little to no amounts of people applying to these jobs. If nursing facilities get punished for this, it will become unfair because it is impossible to get more staff. In addition, financial situations should be addressed as some homes may not able be able to afford it if CMS sets standards too high. This could result in the rejection of Medicaid patients or cutting costs in areas that need it. When looking for a nursing home, the more staff the better care. The industry has concerns about minimums and if they are able to successfully take care of patients. These are big challenges, and these must be met for proper care.

How Our Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Can Help

As always, please check in with your loved ones to see if they are satisfied with the care they are receiving in their nursing facility. If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, please reach out to our experienced team of trial lawyers at Dougherty Leventhal & Price, L.L.P. Our team will fight for you! Remember: Injury? Call DLP! (570) C-A-L-L-D-L-P.

Tara Lynott
Intern, Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP