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Federal Government Demands Transparency Regarding Nursing Home Staffing

By Burg Simpson
February 7, 2022
5 min read

Federal Government Demands Transparency Regarding Nursing Home Staffing

In January 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) stated it will now report weekend staffing and staff turnover for nursing homes. The following information about staffing levels and turnover will be now posted on the publicly available website:

 Weekend Staffing

  • Level of Registered Nurse (RN) staffing on weekends at each nursing home over a quarter.
  • Level of total nurse (RN/LPN/CNA) staffing on weekends at each nursing home over a quarter.

Staff Turnover

  • Total nurse turnover in a 12-month period.
  • Percentage of nursing staff that stopped working at the nursing home over a 12-month period.
  • Number of administrators who stopped working at a nursing home over a 12-month period.

 Transparency is Important 

The new staffing reports regarding nursing homes make this data available for consumer review. Having access to a facility’s staffing environment is important to determine the level of care your loved one will receive. Low turnover rates not only result in higher levels of overall quality of resident care but are also correlated to higher nursing home ratings.

Many people who have loved ones in nursing homes may not be aware that some nursing homes have considerable variation in their daily staffing levels. For example, it may be surprising to many people to discover their loved one may be at risk on weekends due to the facilities understaffing. A reduction in nursing home staff on weekends can increase the likelihood of injury to the residents.

Nurse turnover presents an issue in care facilities because it puts residents at risk. The retention of a qualified nursing staff means the nursing home will have more staff members on duty who are familiar with the residents, their needs, their overall health condition, and their ongoing requirements for medical care. Having a consistent staff also helps to provide a comfortable, secure, and home-like environment for the residents living in nursing facilities.

As of January 2022, the new levels of transparency mandated by the Federal Government will help provide consumers with the data they need to make informed decisions when seeking a care facility for their loved ones.

The Federal Government Regulates Nursing Homes

Skilled nursing facilities across the county depend on funding from both Medicare and Medicaid. The Federal Government not only regulates nursing homes but also ranks them. CMS has created the Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more efficiently and to help identify areas about which they may have questions. Ratings are from a low of one to a high of five stars. Consumers can generally expect a higher quality of care from facilities with the highest ratings.

Specific criteria is used to calculate the nursing home’s overall rating and define the quality of each facility. Ratings are based on results of health inspections, quality of resident care measures, and staffing levels:

  • Health Inspections – The health inspection rating contains the three most recent health inspections and investigations due to complaints. This information is gathered by trained, objective inspectors who go onsite to the nursing home and follow a specific process to determine the extent to which a nursing home has met Medicaid and Medicare’s minimum quality requirements. The most recent survey findings are weighted more than the prior year.
  • Quality Measures – The quality measure rating has information on 15 different physical and clinical measures for nursing home residents. These measures offer information about how well nursing homes care for their residents’ physical and clinical needs. where the resident needs were not as high.
  • Staffing – The staffing rating has information about the number of hours of care provided on average to each resident each day by nursing staff. This rating considers differences in the levels of residents’ care needed in each nursing home. For example, a nursing home with residents with more severe needs would be expected to have more nursing staff than a nursing home where the resident needs were not as high.

Understaffing is the Primary Cause of Nursing Home Neglect

Understaffing is at the core of most nursing home neglect. It occurs not only due to COVID issues, but also when a parent company willingly understaffs skilled nursing facilities to maximize profits. Sadly, it is not new news that nursing home residents are often subject to neglect, and the COVID-19 pandemic has even further exacerbated the problems regarding their lack of systemic care.

Your Loved One Deserves Proper Care

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect are more common than many realize. When elderly residents are neglected, ignored, or mistreated, serious injuries can result. Most nursing home injuries are easily prevented by simply providing proper care and attention.

Common Signs of Abuse and Neglect:

  • Incontinence
  • Unexplained bruising
  • Significant emotional or physical changes
  • Weight loss
  • High staff turnover
  • Multiple complaints by other residents.

 Commonly Reported Nursing Home Violation

  • Inadequate medical care
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Inadequate hygiene
  • Unsanitary conditions
  • Physical violence
  • Bedsores
  • Improper supervision
  • Lack of security
  • Nursing Home Liability

Contact Our Experienced Attorneys at Burg Simpson Today

State and federal regulations were enacted to ensure that elderly residents of nursing homes and other assisted living facilities are not taken advantage of in their later years. Unfortunately, due to understaffing and underfunding, when required inspections do not occur, and residents in assisted living facilities are at risk for abuse.

Call Burg Simpson for Help Now

If your loved one has suffered from significant neglect or abuse in a care facility, please get in touch with our personal injury lawyers at Burg Simpson for help now. You can reach Burg Simpson shareholders Paul Friedman or Scott Ambrose at 888 – 895-2080.

 

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