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April 23, 2024

In this Issue:

  1. CMS Publishes Final Rule Implementing a Minimum Staffing Standard in Nursing Homes
  2. "Ensuring Access to Medicaid Services" Final Rule Published
  3. New Podcast Episode on Celebrating Volunteers
  4. National Nursing Home Stakeholder Call Tomorrow

CMS Publishes Final Rule Implementing a Minimum Staffing Standard in Nursing Homes

On Monday, April 23, 2024, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services  (CMS) published the final rule implementing a minimum staffing standard in nursing homes. The Biden Administration’s announcement contained few surprises. The rule will require a total minimum staffing standard of 3.48 hours of care per resident per day (HPRD), composed of at least .55 RN HPRD and 2.45 HPRD. In addition, facilities will now be required to have a Registered Nurse onsite twenty-four hours per day.  However, the rule contains long implementation periods, some residents of rural facilities will not feel the effects of the rule for over five years, and waiver provisions that will likely allow many nursing homes to avoid compliance.

Consumer Voice recognizes that this is an important first step in ensuring that all residents have their care needs met. However, 3.48 HPRD is a minimum and not a ceiling. Federal law requires that each facility have sufficient staff to meet the needs of all residents. Most residents will require care that exceeds the 3.48 HPRD. Consumer Voice in its comments on the proposed rule, urged CMS to institute strong staffing requirements based on the acuity (care needs) of each resident.
Stay tuned for a detailed analysis of the rule.

"Ensuring Access to Medicaid Services" Final Rule Published

The Biden Administration announced the finalization of the "Ensuring Access to Medicaid Services" rule. The rule requires that at least 80% of Medicaid payments for home care services go to direct care workers' wages.  The rule requires states to be more transparent in how much they pay for home care services and how they set those rates.  States are also required to create a home care rate-setting advisory group made up of beneficiaries, home care workers and other stakeholders to advise on provider payment rates and direct compensation for direct care workers.

New Podcast Episode on Celebrating Volunteers

Ep 45 Podcast Email Header.pngEvery April, organizations across the country take the time to celebrate and thank their volunteers. Volunteers are the backbone of many Long-term Care Ombudsman Programs (LTCOP). With the help of volunteers, the Ombudsman program can have a regular presence in facilities and stay in touch with residents. Volunteers lend their time, talent, and voice to make a difference in their communities and the LTCOP could not be its best without the volunteers who help carry out the mission of advocating for long-term care residents.

In a new episode of the Pursuing Quality Long-Term Care podcast, the National Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC), with the Administration for Community Living's Beverley Laubert, talks to Pat Murphy, certified volunteer from New Jersey, about her experience and dedicated advocacy. The Administration for Community Living (ACL) also joins to honor the over 4,000 people who serve as Long-Term Care Ombudsman volunteers. These specially trained volunteers visit nursing homes and residential care communities to advocate with and for the residents living there. By visiting on a regular basis, volunteers get to know residents and gain their trust to better assist them in resolving issues or complaints to help ensure they receive quality long-term care.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, SoundCloud, or our website.

Volunteer Appreciation Week: April 21-27

National Volunteer Appreciation Week is an opportunity to recognize the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to build stronger communities. The theme for National Volunteer Week is Celebrate Service – an opportunity to shine a light on the people and causes that inspire us to serve.

National Nursing Home Stakeholder Call Tomorrow

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is holding a National Nursing Home Stakeholder Call tomorrow, Wednesday, April 24th at 2:30pm ET.  Long-term care providers, facility staff and resident advocates are encouraged to attend, and the event is open to the public.

Register Now

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