September 16, 2022

Mandatory Minimum Staffing Could Cost Nursing Homes Billions

By Timothy Campbell, Manager, Assurance Services

Mandatory Minimum Staffing Could Cost Nursing Homes Billions Senior Living Services

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is planning to issue a proposal regarding mandatory minimum staffing in nursing homes in the spring of 2023. The Proposal is a response to the February 2022, White House press-release entitled “Protecting Seniors by Improving Safety and Quality of Care in the Nation’s Nursing Homes” which called for the following reforms:

  1. Every nursing home provides a sufficient number of staff members who are adequately trained to administer high-quality care.
  2. Poorly performing nursing homes are held accountable for improper and unsafe care. They must immediately improve their services to avoid being cut off from taxpayer dollars.
  3. The public has access to better information about nursing home conditions so they can find the best available options.

One of President Biden’s key initiatives was to establish new minimum staffing requirements. While nursing homes continue to deal with hiring woes that date back to pre-COVID times, Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA), believes nursing homes will be given the impossible task of finding an additional 187,000 nurses—whose salaries will cost nursing homes around $10 billion per year.

In June of 2022, the AHCA released a survey stating that 98% of nursing home operators are having trouble hiring and 59% of homes are losing money. Where does the White House expect these additional nurses and money to come from? The survey goes on to say that 73% of home operators believe staffing issues could force them to permanently close.

Earlier this year the (CMS) issued a request for information from the public to inform future proposed minimum staffing mandates. By June, CMS received more than 3,000 comments from various healthcare providers, labor unions, and industry experts. CMS intends to consider all perspectives and findings as it crafts minimum staffing requirements in the future. When it is all said and done, CMS hopes to establish a requirement that advances the public’s interest in safe, quality care for residents.

If you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact a Marcum Advisor.

Related Industries

Senior Living Services, Healthcare