Nursing home staff law would cost $4.9B per year: 4 study findings

Implementing a federal minimum staffing standard for nursing homes would cost at least $4.9 billion a year, a recent study published in Innovations in Aging found.

The study, which was published March 21, used Nursing Home Compare Archive data to compare staffing levels to a proposed benchmark. 

"Without clear guidance on the staffing level needed to be sufficiently staffed, most [nursing homes] are subject to a community standard of care, which some have argued could be associated with suboptimal staffing levels," wrote John Bowblis, PhD, lead study author and economic professor and research fellow at the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. 

Four key findings: 

  • Sixty percent of nursing homes' total staffing levels were below benchmarks.

  • Over 80 percent of facilities did not meet registered nursing levels.
  • Certified nursing assistant levels were not met at 54.4 percent of facilities. 

  • Nearly 60 percent of facilities would incur additional expenses to meet benchmarks.

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