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New CMS Staffing Guidelines for Nursing Homes: What You Need to Know

In the wake of a health care worker shortage and increased nursing home bankruptcies, the Biden Administration has proposed new staffing minimums for nursing homes. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), approximately three-quarters of skilled nursing facilities do not currently meet the proposed standards. 

While the comment period for these proposed regulations is open until November 6, 2023, nursing homes should start thinking about how they can meet the new guidelines as some type of staffing minimum is likely to happen. And more than likely, that new minimum will require more registered nurses and nurse aides than currently employed in nursing home facilities. 

The proposed regulations do provide nursing homes time to achieve full compliance. Most facilities will have three years to fully comply, while rural facilities will have five years. By taking measured steps towards increasing staffing levels, nursing homes can avoid potential penalties for non-compliance.

CMS estimates that about three-quarters of skilled nursing facilities do not meet the new standards, which the agency characterized as more stringent than required under any state's nursing home staffing laws.


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