VP To Announce New Minimum Staffing Rules For Nursing Homes

Once again, the Biden administration aims to fix something that isn’t showy, doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker, but will make a substantial difference in the quality of people’s lives. For the first time, the federal government will require nursing homes to have minimum staffing levels after the COVID-19 pandemic exposed how many were poorly staffed. Via U.S. News & World Report:

Vice President Kamala Harris is set to announce the final rules Monday on a trip to La Crosse, Wisconsin, a battleground state where she is first holding a campaign event focused on abortion rights, a White House official said.

President Joe Biden first announced his plan to set nursing home staffing levels in his 2022 State of the Union address but his administration has taken longer to nail down a final rule as health care worker shortages plague the industry. Current law only requires that nursing homes have “sufficient” staffing, leaving it up to states for interpretation.

The new rule would implement a minimum number of hours that staff spend with residents. It will also require a registered nurse to be available around the clock at the facilities, which are home to about 1.2 million people. Another rule would dictate that 80% of Medicaid payments for home care providers go to workers’ wages.

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