CMS Takes Steps to Ensure Adequate Staffing in Nursing Homes

CMS has announced an initiative to improve nursing home oversight and transparency.  The goal of this new action is to ensure adequate staffing to meet residents’ needs.  Facilities with higher nurse staffing levels have fewer resident hospitalizations and provide a higher standard of care.

CMS will use payroll-based data to identify nursing homes that either:

  • Have a significant drop in staffing levels on weekend days
  • Have several days per quarter without a registered nurse on site.

If a nursing home is flagged under either metric, CMS will alert the appropriate state survey agency, and an investigation will be conducted.  If the surveyor confirms that there are inadequate staffing levels, the facility will be cited for noncompliance.  The nursing home will then be required to implement a plan for improvement and will be monitored to ensure that its targets are met.

Providing excellent care has greater benefits than simply avoiding scrutiny from CMS.  The quality of care provided directly impacts your bottom line.  Consumers are becoming more aware of poor nursing home practices due to highly publicized cases from a handful of bad actors.  They can use tools like the Nursing Home Compare website before they help a loved one make a decision.  An extra expenditure on staffing can save a barrel full of headaches in the future, and make sure that your residents have the best possible experience under your care.