HHS releases long-awaited nursing home staffing proposal

by Ahleper Tech
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“After repeated delays spurred by industry influence, we have a weak and disappointing proposal that does little to improve the quality of care or stop the mistreatment of nursing home staff,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee’s Health Subcommittee.

“Remarkably, CMS is proposing standards that are lower than what was recommended over 20 years ago, despite significant concern that those standards were inadequate. Seniors and individuals with disabilities, along with care workers, deserve a much stronger final rule.”

Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, an organization representing nonprofit aging service providers, said the rule does nothing to address workforce shortages. Her organization opposes minimum staffing standards entirely.

“There are simply no people to hire — especially nurses,” she said. “The proposed rule requires that nursing homes hire additional staff. But where are they coming from? To serve older adults and families, nursing homes must have the resources, including staff, to serve them. Without that, there is no care.”

Currently, federal laws are vague. Nursing homes paid by Medicare and Medicaid must provide “sufficient” staffing levels on a 24-hour basis that ensures the well-being of residents.

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