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How many nursing homes meet updated staffing requirements?

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2024 | Nursing Home Abuse

We rely on nursing homes to care for some of the most vulnerable members of our society – the elderly. Unfortunately, nursing homes often face staffing shortages, and new federal regulations highlight just how severe these shortages can be for care facilities.

What do new regulations require?

In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized new rules with intended to enhance the care and safety of nursing home residents. The regulations require a minimum staffing level:

  • Federally funded nursing homes must provide 3.48 hours of staffing per resident per day.
  • Staffing must include 0.55 hours of staffing from registered nurses (RNs).
  • Staffing must include 2.45 hours of staffing from nurse aids.
  • Registered nurses must be onsite 24/7 for skilled nursing care.

These new rules aim to improve the quality of care that nursing homes provide. Not only would increased staffing offer more care to nursing home residents, increased staffing would also lighten the burden of care on individual staff members.

Many nursing homes cannot meet these standards.

Unfortunately, the implementation of these rules throws the issue of understaffing in nursing homes into sharp relief. According to a recent analysis, most nursing homes across the country are currently unable to meet these standards do to issues like budgetary restrictions or workforce issues.

The direct consequence of understaffing in nursing homes is a decline in the quality of care, which can lead to adverse outcomes for residents. Insufficient staffing levels can result in neglect, errors in medication administration and a lack of timely medical attention.

Neglect and medical errors can severely impact the health and well-being of residents. Residents in understaffed facilities may experience issues like bedsores, falls, malnutrition, infections and other health concerns.

When an aging person suffers from neglect in a nursing home due to inadequate staffing, it’s not only heartbreaking but also a clear violation of their right to proper care. However, loved ones can take steps to right these wrongs. Holding negligent nursing homes accountable can get justice for people harmed by neglect and help maintain high standards in caring for the elderly.