Updated Staffing Rules

CMS recently issued updated nursing home staffing compliance guidelines. CMS guidance on minimum health and safety standards is part of Medicare and Medicaid participation.

Nursing home surveyors will use payroll data to determine compliance with safe staffing rules. The new standards will go into effect Oct. 24.

The agency is examining ways to set minimum staffing requirements as part of President Biden’s safety and reform initiatives. The research study will specifically assess the minimum staffing requirements needed in facilities. They will factor in acuity and resident needs.

“This is an incredibly important body of work that we hope to ensure that nursing residents are receiving safe and quality care that they need.”

–CMS official said.

Facilities that struggle to attract and retain staff will have a lower staffing rating. The star ratings account for the updated methodology for calculating staffing stars. New staffing measures include: total nurse staffing hours per resident per weekend day, total nurse staff turnover within a given year, registered nurse turnover; and the number of administrators who have left the nursing home within a given year. Those are in addition to the existing measures of registered nurse and total nurse hours per resident day.

As of last week, 1,730 homes had a 5-star staffing rating. Quality care and safe staffing can be done.

Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge said:

“We all know that staffing goes hand-in-hand with quality care, and our mission-driven members are working valiantly to stay compliant. But we continue to urge the administration to back its words of commitment to ensuring older adults’ access to care with meaningful action and funding.”