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Proposed Changes to Nursing Home Staffing Rules: Make Your Voice Heard

Last year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services promulgated a new rule establishing comprehensive staffing requirements for nursing homes and requiring such facilities to have a registered nurse on-site at all times.[i]

The rule, the Nursing Home Minimum Staffing Rule, came in response to concerns about the adequacy of care in nursing homes in general as well as the 188,000 nursing home resident deaths since the COVID-19 pandemic. The new rule requires that nursing homes that receive funding through Medicare and Medicaid provide the staffing equivalent of at least 3.48 hours of nursing care per resident, per day. That includes 0.55 hours of care from a registered nurse and 2.45 hours of care from a nurse aide each day, according to a White House fact sheet.[ii]

Person holding megaphone

Medicare and Medicaid pay billions of dollars per year to ensure that 1.2 million Americans that receive care in nursing homes are cared for, yet too many nursing homes chronically understaff their facilities, leading to sub-standard or unsafe care. When facilities are understaffed, residents may go without basic necessities like baths, trips to the bathroom, and meals – and it is less safe when residents have a medical emergency. Understaffing can also have a disproportionate impact on women and people of color who make up a large proportion of the nursing home workforce because, without sufficient support, these dedicated workers can’t provide the care they know the residents deserve.[iii]

These changes were supported by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), among many others.

Congress is trying to overturn these rules. With these proposed changes to nursing home staffing rules, it is vital to be informed and make your voice heard.

AARP Alabama is urging Alabamians to let their representatives in Congress know that they oppose overturning these rules. [iv] “We want to see that the rule is kept in place,” said Jamie Harding with AARP Alabama. “It speaks to resident safety. That’s the bottom line for us. We want to make sure that the care that’s being received is more than just adequate, and that patient safety and residents’ safety is observed.” AARP said it understands some nursing homes are having problems recruiting staff, but they say this is an industry issue that should be addressed through pay raises and better working conditions.

They are encouraging people to write in to their congress members to express their opinion on the proposed changes to nursing home staffing rules.

Let your Congress person know that you OPPOSE overturning the Nursing Home Minimum Staffing Rule. You can find them here. You can find your legislative district here.





[iii] Id.



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