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10 Vital Pieces of the DHS & CMS Staffing Standard Final Rule

The road to a staffing standard final rule has been long. For decades this problem has permeated the industry, wreaking havoc on resident care standards. Not to mention employee happiness, burnout, and turnover, as well as nursing home accountability standards. Now, two years after the Biden Administration’s nursing home legislation proposals, we have a DHS and CMS staffing standard final rule. Here are 8 vital pieces of information from the final rule.

woman's hand holding stethoscope
PC: Leslie Reagan Bodin via Unsplash
  1. Effective Date. First and foremost, the effective date for the final rule is June 21, 2024. However, there are other deadlines for different types of facilities. All in all, the final rule should be completely implemented across all facilities by the beginning of 2029, at the latest. 
  2. These rule changes will affect 1.2 million+ Long-Term Care (LTC) facility residents across the U.S. in rural and non-rural facilities.
  3. This final rule addresses nursing home staff turnover and burnout, as well as safety concerns for residents, and is inspired, in part, by President Biden’s Executive Order 14095.
  4. Numerous studies, as well as plenty of first-hand accounts, clearly show that proper proportions of staff-to-residents is directly related to the level of care received. 
  5. The final rule is updating the Federal “Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Long Term Care Facilities” minimum staffing standards. Otherwise known as the LTC requirements. 
  6. As a revision of § 483.35(b), the final rule will “require an RN to be on site 24 hours per day and 7 days per week (24/7 RN) to provide skilled nursing care to all residents in accordance with resident care plans, with an exemption from 8 hours per day of the onsite RN requirement under certain circumstances.”
  7. Additionally, the final rule says “facilities must provide, at a minimum, 3.48 total nurse staffing hours per resident day (HPRD) of nursing care, with 0.55 RN HPRD and 2.45 NA HPRD.”
  8. To address consistency and ongoing needs assessment, § 483.70(e) will be reassessed into a standalone section at § 483.71. This will require “facilities have an efficient process for consistently assessing and documenting the necessary resources and staff that the facility requires to provide ongoing care for its population that is based on the specific needs of its residents.”
  9. Exemptions to the final rule will be allowed on a case-by-case basis and in limited circumstances.
  10. Facilities will be surveyed for compliance.

This just scratches the surface of the new final rule. However, we will see, over the next few months and years, how this plays out and changes the nursing home care landscape. 

If you or a loved one have been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, call Gharibian Law (877-460-1187) today for a FREE consultation and the best legal representation.