On Sept. 1, 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revealed their long anticipated proposal to “establish comprehensive staffing requirements for nursing homes” in a press release.
This would be the first time in U.S. history that a national minimum for nurse staffing standards would be made, if the proposal is passed into legislation. According to CMS, an estimated 75% of existing nursing homes would need to strengthen staffing at their facilities to meet these proposed staffing standards.
Read on for a breakdown of what this proposed mandate includes, what the ultimate goal is, and how your facility can source the healthcare talent you need to secure your future.
What does the proposed healthcare staffing mandate require from facilities?
If the proposal becomes legislation, then nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid would have to meet new requirements, including providing residents with a minimum of 0.55 hours of care from a Registered Nurse per resident per day plus 2.45 hours of care from a nurse aid per resident per day. These new requirements notably exceed existing standards in nearly all states.
Nursing homes would also be required to have a Registered Nurse on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. According to McKnights Long-Term Care News, the round-the-clock RN coverage is triple the current standard. Facilities would also be required to complete “robust facility assessments” as well.
What is the goal of the healthcare staffing mandate?
The goal of this proposed legislation is to make sure that the residents of nursing facilities — over 1.2 million individuals — have access to safe, high-quality care.
How can my facility source the healthcare talent we need to meet these requirements?
The best way to meet these proposed standards and, ultimately, provide the best care possible for your patients is to focus on providing consistent staffing, not necessarily more staff. This means that your facility needs to truly own your hiring process instead of relying on temporary workers to provide care. This solution is less costly than maintaining a relationship with a staffing agency while leading to better business outcomes.
In a recent CliftonLarsonAllen analysis, 1-star rated facilities used contracted staff 2.5 times more than 5-star rated facilities. While this may seem as correlation without causation, CLA also found that in Illinois specifically, 15.6% of jobs at 1-star facilities were filled with temporary workers, while 5-star facilities only used 3.8%.
This stark difference should be enough to convince you that hiring in-house is the most cost-effective option for your facility, but there’s more at play here. Your facility needs to also focus on improving your overall employee engagement and reducing turnover. These two factors contribute greatly to the need for temporary staffing and inconsistent quality of care for your patients.
When do I need to meet these mandated requirements?
There’s no real rush to meet these requirements just yet. According to Skilled Nursing News, investment analysts at Stifel Financial Corp. expect the minimum staffing requirements to be implemented in 2026 or 2027 at the earliest.
What can I do to get ahead of this mandate?
To get ahead of this mandate, you should be using this time to set yourself up with good recruiting strategies so you can get better people in your pipeline and on your team so that you’re prepared if this mandate turns into legislation.
In order to secure your future, you need to find an applicant tracking system like Hireology to build a pipeline of better talent so you can make better hires at your facility. With our platform, you’ll be empowered to build a hiring process that works for your facility while remaining compliant with state and federal regulations. With our built-in HR analytics, you’ll be able to refine your recruiting strategies over time so that you can get the best ROI possible. When you invest in your long-term hiring, you’re investing in the long-term success of your facility.
To see the difference that the right hiring platform can make at your facility, schedule a demo today. Our team is ready to help you achieve your hiring goals and set you up for success in the future.