Nursing Home Quality HINGES on Staffing Levels

Mar 21, 2018

FFBC -- Today, Families for Better Care released new evidence correlating direct care staffing levels and inspection performance in Florida’s nursing homes.

The group published its findings (Figure 1) after obtaining staffing and enforcement data compiled and released by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to its Nursing Home Compare website.

According to Families for Better Care’s analysis, whenever nursing homes employed enough frontline caregivers to achieve an above average staffing rating by federal officials, the percentage of nursing homes with higher inspection scores concurrently increased.

“It’s official, we now have conclusive evidence that when nursing homes hire enough staff to care for residents, inspection performance is vastly improved,” said Families for Better Care’s Executive Director Brian Lee.

“We now have conclusive evidence that when nursing homes hire enough staff to care for residents, inspection performance is vastly improved”

The group’s research also demonstrated that after Florida’s staffing ratings peaked in 2014, the percentage of facilities performing at a consistently high staffing level sharply declined—dropping by more than 35 percent the next year. That decline coincided with an immediate and simultaneous downturn in the percentage of nursing homes with above average inspections, falling off 34 percent.

Nursing home staffing and inspection scores have since stagnated, averaging around 49 percent and 28 percent respectively.

“As Florida lawmakers consider revising the nursing home staffing calculation to permit the counting of anyone and everyone wearing a facility’s employee name badge to suddenly start caring for residents, they would do well to remember one thing,” Lee said. “Nursing home quality hinges on a high number of well-trained caregivers qualified to do their jobs effectively.”

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For more information, visit familiesforbettercare.com.

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