Nursing home staffing mandate issued for first time ever

nursing home staffing mandates
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Hardship waivers, an element providers pleaded for given the sector’s ongoing workforce crisis, are included.

Nursing home staffing mandate recently released state that US nursing homes would have at least three years to provide a minimum of 3.0 hours per patient day of direct care, 0.55 hours of that by a registered nurse and 2.45 hours by a nurse aide. It is the first-ever proposed federal staffing mandate.

One-size-fits-all staffing ratios don’t guarantee quality, and it’s meaningless to mandate staffing levels that cannot be met.” said LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan. “There are simply no people to hire — especially nurses.”

“It feels like the beginning of the end for small-town nursing homes,” said Good Samaritan Society President and CEO Nate  Schema, whose nonprofit organization is the nation’s largest rural provider. “The only thing this rule will do is force facilities to make impossible decisions.”


Lack of new federal masking rules could disadvantage long term care and senior living providers

With no new masking guidance from federal health officials, nursing homes are carefully navigating when to require masking and other infection prevention steps to head off outbreaks. Providers will likely be second-guessed by plaintiffs’ firms for failing to implement stringent protocols.

Providers have already been blamed for 2020-2022 COVID cases, despite complying with multiple, frequently changing guidelines. In the absence of any guidelines, Claimants will argue negligence based on what a “reasonable provider” would do, and providers will not be able to point to compliance with guidelines to defend their actions.

People may disagree whether masking requirements, visitor limitations, social distancing, and vaccinations are necessary, but the perception that these interventions are reasonable, especially in hindsight, could impact liability. Even if the CDC and CMS don’t require specific actions, providers who delay interventions to minimize the spread of COVID may increase the risk of subsequent claims and suits.


Legal Department budgets and staff are being cut, forcing in-house counsel to do more with less

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