Skilled nursing facilities will have more time to explain how they spent the bailout money from the Provider Relief Fund. The legislation, dubbed the Provider Relief Fund Improvement Act, delays “complex PRF reporting requirements” until after the public health crisis.
The delay will give the industry more time to hide and divert funds. The money can go to “safety improvements” as an allowed use of PRF dollars. The money should go to add and train direct caregivers.
The new minimum staffing requirements will take time. However, it is just part of a package of measures announced by President Biden to improve nursing home care. CMS said providers can expect a proposal minimum staffing standards within one year and the other initiatives will have their own timeframe. The combination of workload, environment, culture and the physical and emotional strain requires more caregivers.
National staffing averages for Q3 2021 were 3.63 total nurse staff hours per resident day (HPRD) and 0.63 for registered nurse (RN) staff (HPRD). That falls short of what LTCCC says is the amount of time needed to ensure that residents receive quality clinical care – 4.10 hours total care staff HPRD and 0.75 RN HPRD – according to previous studies.
Biden’s reform package includes more than 20 actions to improve quality of care. Let’s hope they get implemented soon.