Nearly 1,400 Nursing Homes Have Lowest Ratings Due to Staff Shortages

Close to 1,400 nursing homes received the lowest star rating by Medicare due to inadequate numbers of registered nurses or from inaccurate reports about staffing, according to federal payroll records.

As required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010, Medicare recently started gathering and publishing payroll data on the staffing of nursing homes--as opposed to using the nursing homes’ own unproven reports. After updating its Nursing Home Compare website, approximately 1,387 of the country’s 15,616 nursing facilities (nearly nine percent) failed to either keep the homes consistently staffed with registered nurses or provided false data they were doing so.

According to rules by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a registered nurse must work for eight hours a day in every facility, every day. The facilities with a one-star staffing rating failed to have registered nurse for a “high number of days” over three months, provided unverified data to the government, or didn’t provide any payroll information at all. Kaiser’s analysts determined downgraded homes reported seven or more days without any registered nurses.

For-profit nursing facilities had 16 percent fewer staff members in comparison to nonprofit nursing homes. Moreover, for-profits had only one registered nurse for every 43 residents, while nonprofit facilities have one to every 28 residents. According to weekend averages, there were 11 percent fewer nurses caring for patients and eight percent fewer aides.

As far as numbers concerning certified nursing assistants and aides, one was responsible for nine residents on average. On worst-staffed days, however, an assistant or aide oversaw 16 residents.

At Hare Wynn, we understand how nursing staff shortages can result in nursing home abuse and negligence. Residents are at risk of not receiving their medications on time, not being taken to the restroom often enough, not receiving proper food or water, and a host of other issues.

Funding issues are never an excuse for less staff than necessary. Nursing homes must always offer proper care for their residents.

If you suspect that your loved one’s nursing home is short staffed, contact us and schedule a free consultation with our nursing home abuse attorneys today.

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