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Staffing issues continue to impact nursing homes, hospice centers 

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Healthcare Business

The healthcare industry has experienced significant staffing shortages lately. These have impacted both nursing homes and hospice centers.

Staffing shortages cause problems for many reasons. For one thing, it means that residents may not get the care that they need and deserve because there simply are not enough staff members to meet everyone’s needs at the same time. Similarly, those who are on staff are much more likely to experience burnout as they work too many hours or take on too many tasks for one person. After all, low staff numbers mean an increased patient load for each person who is on the job. 

Legal changes may be coming

Interestingly, the Biden administration is currently trying to change the staffing regulations for nursing homes in the United States. This change applies to centers that are Medicare and Medicaid-certified. The new rule increases the number of “hours per resident day” (HPRD) that need to be provided. It used to be three HPRD, but has now been increased to 3.48. 

What does this mean in practicality? Say that a hospice center or nursing home had 100 residents. There would need to be 10 or 11 aides, two or three registered nurses and two additional staff members. 

Will this have any impact?

One of the big questions here, though, is if these centers are even going to be able to meet the new minimum requirements. If they are already experiencing staffing shortages and can’t hire enough people for 3 HPRD, will changing the requirements make any difference? Hospice centers may not be able to find enough staff members to fill all of the necessary positions. 

This can raise some very significant questions and legal concerns, and those involved need to be aware of their legal options.