Recent data from a review of nursing home payroll records by Kaiser Health News reveals frequent and significant fluctuations in day-to-day staffing of nursing homes nationwide, with particularly large shortfalls on weekends. On the worst staffed days at an average facility, the new data show, on-duty personnel cared for nearly twice as many residents as they did when the staffing roster was fullest. The daily payroll records of more than 14,000 nursing homes nationwide were analyzed. Medicare only recently began gathering and publishing payroll records as required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
According to the study, the payroll records provide the strongest evidence that over the last decade, the government’s five-star rating system for nursing homes often exaggerated staffing levels and rarely identified the periods of thin staffing that were common. Medicare is now relying on the new data to evaluate staffing, but the revamped star ratings still mask the erratic levels of people working from day to day.
To read more and to review the staffing figures of nursing homes near you, click on the links below.