DLP Fights for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect- Senator Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA) requests nursing home staffing data- McKnight’s Long-Term Care News reports: “Key senator pressures state survey agencies over staffing-related delays”

Senator Bob Casey Nursing Home Care
Date: September 16, 2022

Pennsylvania Democratic Senator, Bob Casey Jr., has written to state survey agencies in every U.S. state asking that the agencies provide details regarding staffing shortages as well as other obstacles nursing homes face during an inspection. McKnight’s Long-Term Care News was given special access to Casey’s letter. McKnight’s author, Kimberly Marselas, reports that within this letter Casey mentions that in certain states nursing home inspection employees have decreased by fifty percent since the COVID-19 pandemic began, which is very concerning. As a result, data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has indicated that “4,500 nursing homes” have not received their usual inspections.

     Casey is the chair of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging and has long advocated for the protection and well-being of nursing home residents; therefore, he believes the committee needs this information to gain more insight as to why state surveyor staffing levels have dropped significantly, so this issue can be properly addressed. The committee will examine contacts from the state surveyor agencies of all fifty states over the past five years. This undertaking is crucial as Casey stated that “state surveyors are the eyes and ears ensuring that quality care is delivered.” Nursing home residents deserve nothing but the highest quality of care in order to ensure their physical and mental health. When nursing inspections are backlogged this creates a multitude of issues as the health of residents and the level of care provided to them could be jeopardized.

      The COVID-19 pandemic caused inspection delays to surge. The average inspection delay for nursing homes across the U.S. is reported to be an average of sixteen months. However, states like Maryland, Idaho, and Kentucky have long surpassed this sixteen-month inspection average. Some good news is that the state of Pennsylvania has been identified as one of the states that have the greatest record for on-time inspection visits. Shortages of nurses and other nursing home staff at these facilities have also played a role in state surveyor shortages, but these nursing home employment levels are not improving. Casey said that according to state surveyors’ responses low staffing levels in nursing homes have made it even more difficult to hire employees the agencies across the U.S. Because of this, Marcela’s reports that Casey spoke about surveyor agencies performing “stopgap measures”, which consist of hiring retired agency employees and pricey “contract inspectors” in addition to promoting employees to work past regular hours, as an attempt to increase stop.

    If this state survey shortage in the U.S. is not handled properly, then it could affect the “Five Star Health Inspections ratings” given to nursing homes and could hinder nursing home supervision. Marselas writes that Senator Casey’s position on this issue is to make the funding awarded to nursing home surveyor agencies permanent.

Contact an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney

     It is crucial that you or your loved ones reside in a well-rated nursing home or long-term care facility whose primary mission is to provide only the highest quality of care. If you or a family member and/or friend has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, please contact our experienced team of attorneys at Dougherty Leventhal & Price, L.L.P. Remember: Injury? Call DLP! (570) C-A-L-L-D-L-P.

Works Cited

Marselas, Kimberly. “Key senator pressures state survey agencies over staffing-related delays.” McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, 13 September 2022, https://www.mcknights.com/news/key-senator-pressures-state-survey-agencies-over-staffing-related-delays/. Accessed 14 September 2022.

Tara Lynott
Intern, Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP