NYC nursing homes struggle with understaffing

Almost 75 percent of New York City's nursing homes have lower-than-average staffing levels, CMS data show, which has a negative impact on patient health outcomes, according to City Limits.

Nursing home residents in the city's lowest-staffed homes get fewer than three hours of direct nursing care per day, on average, which is lower than the 4.1 hours per day that a resident needs, according to the Long-Term Care Community Coalition. 

Nursing homes with low staffing levels also have lower health ratings and more health hazard citations than facilities that are better staffed. Staff are also more likely to inappropriately prescribe antipsychotic medications to patients who don't need them when they feel overworked and unable to handle difficult residents. 

Researchers and regulatory agencies are increasingly recognizing the importance of staff levels for patient health. CMS recently updated its scoring system for nursing homes to include staffing ratings based on payroll rather than self-reporting. Nursing homes with no registered nurse onsite for four or more days in a quarter automatically receive the lowest CMS rating.

More articles on post-acute care:
California nursing homes must consult patient or rep for psychiatric drugs, end-of-life care
New York cites nursing home for violations after resident death
Patients at high risk in transition from hospital to long-term care, study finds

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