Casey Supports Proposed Rule to Safeguard Nursing Home Residents’ Safety

Casey StatementPhoto: U.S. Senate

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is supporting a proposed rule by the Biden Administration, aimed at setting minimum staffing levels in nursing homes and enhancing enforcement for resident safety. The rule seeks to improve the quality of care and address understaffing issues, ensuring all nursing homes prioritize the health, safety, and dignity of their residents.

“Our Nation’s 1.2 million nursing home residents expect and deserve high quality care that prioritizes health, safety, and human dignity,” said Chairman Casey. “But for too long, many nursing homes have not met this threshold due to understaffing and inadequate enforcement. This proposed rule, which both establishes staffing minimums and improves enforcement of nursing home violations, would be an important step towards ensuring that all nursing homes provide the care that all residents need and deserve.”

On Friday, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a series of measures aimed at improving nursing home safety and expanding the nursing workforce. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing a rule to establish minimum staffing levels to prevent unsafe reductions in staff. The proposal would require a Registered Nurse to be on-site 24/7 and necessitate a set number of registered nurses and nurse aides based on resident needs. CMS is also working to enforce existing staffing standards, which require “sufficient” staffing and eight hours per day of Registered Nurse care.

In addition, the HHS Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) is scrutinizing nursing home performance, focusing on how taxpayer funds are used, the prescribing of antipsychotic medications, and emergency preparedness planning.

To bolster the nursing workforce, CMS and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) are launching a national nursing career pathways campaign. This initiative, which includes over $75 million in scholarships and tuition reimbursement, aims to recruit, train, retain, and transition workers into nursing home careers. These steps represent the administration’s stated commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of nursing home residents.

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