Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

States Not Enforcing Nursing Home Staff Requirements

Published on Nov 27, 2014 at 2:36 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

The Center for Public Integrity has discovered that thousands of nursing homes inflated their staff levels to the Nursing Home Compare website run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). [link to prior blog?] That analysis has also shown that hundreds of nursing homes across the country have staff levels that are below state requirements.

To find actual staffing figures, the Center for Public Integrity did its own auditing. The Center looked at annual financial reports submitted by the homes — those documents contain revenue and expenditure data, along with resident population, which allow a precise calculation of staff to resident ratios.

The Center found that more than 80% of nursing homes self-reported higher RN levels on the public website than they disclosed in financial reports to Medicare. More than 25% of homes posted an overall staff level that was at least twice the level they disclosed in financial reports to Medicare.

Not only are these gaps cause for concern to families who attempt to use the public website to compare home quality, they point out that homes are in violation of state law.

A majority of states have instituted mandatory daily direct care staffing ratios. In 2010, those requirements ranged from .44 hours per resident in Arizona to 3.9 hours per resident in Florida. However, in 2012, over 700 homes — more than 250 facilities in Illinois — had daily care levels below their state requirements.

Charlene Harrington, professor emeritus of nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, told the Center for Public Integrity that the below-standard care levels illustrates a related oversight failure on both the state and federal levels.

“It’s just another symptom of not doing the oversight that they’re supposed to be doing at the state level,” Harrington was reported as saying. “CMS should demand that the states should look at it because the very first tenet of being certified is that facilities meet state law. If they haven’t met state law, CMS shouldn’t be certifying them.”

Dozens of studies have shown that the amount of care that nursing home residents receive, especially from RNs, is strongly connected with quality of care. Lower levels of care are associated with a stronger chance that patients will suffer injuries, and life-threatening incidents.

The Center says that that CMS declined to comment, because, it said, it had not seen the Center’s analysis.

Meet Your Team

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Legal & Firm News

Multi-Vehicle Accidents: Who Pays for Chain Reaction Crashes?

You’re driving down the road on your way to work in heavy traffic. Everything seems standard for your morning commute until you’re sideswiped by a passing vehicle and subsequently rear-ended by the car behind you when you brake. Emergency responders arrive at the scene, and you’re treated for your injuries and told to follow up […]

Read More

5 Questions to Ask During a Free Case Consultation

If you’ve been injured in an accident and are looking to pursue compensation from the at-fault party, you may not know where to turn. Fortunately, personal injury lawyers can help accident victims file a strong claim that proves a monetary award is owed.

Read More

How to Stay Safe Around Pools This Summer

As we’re now just past the Fourth of July holiday weekend, summer is in full swing. With the 2021 heatwave affecting most of the continental U.S., pool owners all around the country are taking full advantage of their backyard oases to beat the heat. Those without pools looking to take a dip in the water […]

Read More