CMS Issues Federal Nursing Home Staffing Mandate

Date: September 18, 2023

After a long 18-month process, it appears that the first federal minimum staffing mandate will soon be proposed. An accidental online posting on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mentioned the proposal which will provide both consumer advocates and the nursing home sector with potential insights into CMS strategies moving forward. Although still “pending”, the mandate is rumored to be released any day now.

Lori Porter, co–founder, and CEO of the National Association of Health Care Assistants stated that “The CMS study on mandatory staffing that was accidentally released earlier this week favors the provider point of view that such mandates are not necessary for improved care and would cost too much for the nursing home industry to implement”. Porter isn’t the only one to share their opinion on the CMS posting. Katie Smith Sloan, President and CEO of LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, made her thoughts clear in an email to McKnights. Sloan wrote “We hope this means that the Biden Administration is finally getting real on ratios by acknowledging that there are too few people to hire; the costs of delivering quality care far exceeds reimbursement; and a single staffing level cannot fit the needs of every resident nationwide,” she added. “Staffing ratios are not the answer; CMS needs a new approach to achieving consistent, quality care in nursing homes — and it must begin with meaningful solutions to the workforce crisis.”

If the CMS continues with the minimum staffing requirement, the “one-size-fits-all” mandate will only do more harm. Increased staff might benefit individual nursing home facilities, but it will ultimately result in fewer care options due to reduced admissions and even closures.

Do you know someone who has been the victim of nursing care abuse?

Residents at nursing home facilities deserve the best quality care. With the potential minimum staffing mandate, older adults will suffer. If you or someone you know is experiencing neglect, abuse, or mistreatment, contact our seasoned attorneys at Dougherty Leventhal and Price. Our team is here to fight for you! Remember … Injury? Call DLP! (570) C-A-L-L-D-L-P.


James M. Berklan, et al. “[Updated] Providers Bracing for CMS Release of Federal Nursing Home Staffing Mandate at ‘Any Time.’” McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, 31 Aug. 2023.

Julia Kourpas