Biden Announces Reforms for Nursing Homes

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – Last year, President Biden announced a number of reforms for nursing homes including a minimum staffing requirement that would affect the country’s 15,500 nursing homes.

While the new rules are still under review, the nursing industry has opposed the minimum staffing requirement.

University of California professor emeritus Charlene Harrington, whose research is focused on the impact that staffing has on the quality of care in nursing homes, stated that after two decades a reasonable minimum standard would actually make a huge difference. Many of the supporters of the requirement have also been pushing for a minimum standard to be implemented for the past two decades. As they argue, this would ensure that residents are better cared for as there is more staff available to handle their needs.

During the pandemic, over 200,000 nursing home staff and residents died from the virus. This in part led to the federal government’s decision to ultimately take action.

National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care executive director Lori Smetanka stated that following the pandemic there was a lot of attention being placed on nursing homes. As she argued, the reason for this was because the pandemic showed the issues in the industry that had caused concern.

However, while the rule has some supporters there are also those industry groups that argue that the standard set is impossible to reach, especially considering the staffing shortages. They further note that it would essentially create an unfunded federal mandate as the reimbursement Medicaid rates are too low.

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