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September 5, 2023

In this Issue:

  1. CMS Releases Proposed Rule on Nursing Home Minimum Staffing Standard
  2. Nursing Home Residents; Now is the Time to Make Your Voice Heard
  3. Start Planning Now for Residents' Rights Month in October

CMS Releases Proposed Rule on Nursing Home Minimum Staffing Standard

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the long-anticipated Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that would implement a minimum staffing standard in nursing homes. While Consumer Voice is continuing to review the NPRM, we are extremely disappointed with CMS’s proposal. The proposal flies in the face of decades of research demonstrating a need for a strong staffing standard that protects all nursing home residents from harm.

Key highlights from the rule include:

  • Nursing homes would be required to provide only 3 hours of direct care per resident per day. This requirement would include only .55 hours of Registered Nurse (RN) care and 2.45 hours of certified nurse aide (CNA) care. The NPRM failed to propose a minimum for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) who play a critical role in nursing home care.
  • Facilities would be eligible for waivers from complying with this minimum if they met certain criteria.
  • Implementation of the requirement would be phased in over a 3-year period.
  • Facilities would be required to have an RN on staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This requirement would be an increase from the current requirement of eight hours per day.

Over twenty-years ago an in-depth, evidenced-based CMS study found that each nursing home resident required at least 4.1 hours of direct care each day to avoid compromised care that placed residents at risk of harm. Today, nursing home residents are sicker, as many more functional older individuals choose to remain at home and live independently. Rather than taking steps to ensure all residents receive high quality care, today’s proposed rule would implement a standard of care well below the 4.1 hours of care and result in an increased risk of harm to nursing home residents.

Despite this dismal proposal, it is critical that we all comment on this rule to make it better. There is ample evidence supporting staffing standards significantly higher than the rule proposed by CMS. CMS, Congress, and other policy makers  need to hear our voices to make this proposal better.

Join us for a webinar next Wednesday, September 13th at 2:00pm ET to discuss the rule and how to comment.  Register Now

Nursing Home Residents: Now is the Time to Make Your Voice Heard

With the release of the proposed nursing home staffing standard by CMS, it is critical that CMS, federal and state legislators, and other policymakers hear from nursing home residents about the importance of adequate staffing.

Nursing home residents: complete this survey, by September 18th, to share how staffing levels impact your daily life as a nursing home resident.
Please share this survey with nursing home residents in your community.

The answers will be used in Consumer Voice's advocacy work; your contact information or identifying details will never be shared without your consent.  

Thank you to all those who have already completed the survey!

Start Planning Now for Residents' Rights Month in October

RRM 2023 logoResidents' Rights Month, celebrated every October, is right around the corner. Residents' Rights Month is an opportunity to focus on and celebrate the dignity and rights of every individual receiving long-term services and supports.

This year’s Residents’ Rights Month theme - Amplify Our Voices - emphasizes a community of long-term care residents coming together to make their voices heard. Amplifying your voice means being outspoken about your preferences and choices, and sharing who you are and your experiences. Residents’ voices are the most important at the decision-making table - your story deserves to be told!

Visit our website for resources and materials to promote Residents' Rights Month.  Plus, there's still time to get our new Residents' Rights Month products: newly redesigned door hangers; the Staying Engaged Enrichment booklet for residents; and I love Residents' Rights pencil pouches.  Find those products and more in our online store.

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