Agency that handles Medicare and Medicaid says it will propose a rule next spring for minimum levels of staffing in nursing homes

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Efforts to require minimum levels of nursing-home staffing, which have failed in Kentucky and some other states, are now focused on the federal level, where the Biden administration is working on it.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says it will issue a draft rule in spring 2023 after studying the issue and gathering opinions of stakeholders.

CMS says it has received more than 3,000 comments from “advocacy groups; long-term care ombudsmen; providers; labor unions and organizations; nursing home staff and administrators; industry experts and researchers; family members; and caretakers of nursing-home residents,” reports Bridget Early of Inside Health Policy.

“A vast majority of the comments CMS received from families, beneficiary advocates and caretakers of nursing home residents highlighted deep concerns about unsafe care stemming from a lack of staff,” Early reports. CMS said, “Multiple comments stated that residents will go entire shifts without receiving toileting assistance, leading to falls or increased presence of pressure ulcers.”

The nursing-home industry told CMS “that staffing in nursing homes has not rebounded from the Covid-19 pandemic and recruiting is a challenge — and facilities will allegedly have to close because they are unable to meet minimum staffing levels,” Early reports.
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