Article Attribution: This is an excerpt from an article on KHN Kaiser Health News
Original Author: Posted July 30, 2018
Medicare has lowered its star ratings for staffing levels in 1 in 11 of the nation’s nursing homes — almost 1,400 of them — because they either had inadequate numbers of registered nurses or failed to provide payroll data that proved they had the required nursing coverage, federal records released last week show.
Medicare only recently began collecting and publishing payroll data on the staffing of nursing homes as required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010, rather than relying as it had before on the nursing homes’ own unverified reports.
The payroll records revealed lower overall staffing levels than homes had disclosed, particularly among registered nurses. Those are the highest-trained caregivers required to be in a nursing home, and they supervise other nurses and aides. Medicare mandates that every facility have a registered nurse working at least eight hours every day.
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