What the administration is proposing:
- Facilities must have a registered nurse on site 24/7.
- Nursing homes must provide every resident at least 33 minutes of care per day from a registered nurse.
- Homes must also provide at least two-and-a-half hours of care from a nurse aide each day.
The White House claimed its proposal is “robust yet achievable,” while also acknowledging it will likely take time for facilities to hire the needed staff to meet these requirements.
As such, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing that these rules go into effect in phases. The proposal also included “hardship exemptions” that would require facilities to prove they are making an effort to invest in staffing.
These rules stand to impart a massive impact on the more than 15,000 certified nursing homes in the U.S. The majority of these facilities are owned by for-profit entities.
The White House noted in its announcement Friday that nonprofit nursing homes are “about three times as likely as for-profit homes to already provide staffing at or above the proposed levels.”
The announcement on Friday drew criticisms for different reasons.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) called it “weak and disappointing” and urged stronger standards to be enacted.
“CMS is proposing standards that are lower than what was recommended over 20 years ago, despite significant concern that those standards were inadequate,” Doggett said.
The American Health Care Association balked at the proposal, saying the White House was requiring facilities to hire workers “that are simply not there” due to the ongoing labor shortage.