For 20 years, experts recommended 4.1 hours per day of direct care per patient in nursing homes. It is the benchmark for quality care and better outcomes. Elder law advocates and experts support the Pennsylvania proposal to increase nursing homes’ minimum level of direct care to 4.1 hours daily per patient. Currently, the minimum is an unsafe 2.7 hours daily per patient. This is desperately needed. Hopefully, South Carolina will increase the minimum levels to 4.1. hours daily per patient, a reasonably safe level.
The change has been years in the making. CMS studies prove that 4.1. is the minimum safe level to prevent abuse and neglect. The effort to revise Pennsylvania’s nursing home regulations began after a 2016 report by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.
Most caregivers and consumers support the increase. The industry demands more money before they voluntarily agree to increase staffing levels to safe numbers. However, 25% of nursing homes in Pennsylvania already provide 4.1 HPPD or greater.
The industry alleges that their is a worker shortage but studies prove that if you provide a living wage, staff will apply. Caregivers want to work. They deserve benefits and a safe work environment.
One Administrator admitted that a lack of caregivers almost certainly guarantees a compromise in quality due to short cuts, misses, near misses, errors, increased stress, burnout.