Nursing Homes Understaffed Before Covid-19 Crisis

Federal data suggests that most nursing facilities “failed to maintain sufficient staffing to meet every resident’s needs” in the months leading up to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new release by the Long Term Community Care Coalition.

The LTCCC has packaged that federal data regarding staffing figures for every nursing home in the United States in a “user-friendly” form, allowing members of the public, journalists, and policymakers to “identify and assess” nursing homes that are and are not meeting their residents’ essential staffing needs. The files for Q4 2019 are available on its website. Users can use the data to learn about staffing levels for nursing staff as well as activities staff and administrators; they can also use it to evaluate how much a given nursing home facility relies on contract workers to care for its residents.

According to the LTCCC’s report, federal data suggest that in Q4 2019, nursing homes in the US “provide[d] an average of 3.37 total care staff hours per resident day” and .42 Registered Nurse hours per resident day, which were the same levels as in Q3 2019. The LTCCC states that these averages are “well below the amount of time needed to ensure that residents receive sufficient clinical care.” According to a 2001 federal study, those numbers are 4.10 HPRD and 0.75 RN HPRD.

The LTCCC lists the ten states with the highest staffing levels: Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota, California, Washington DC, Florida, Oregon, Idaho, Maine, and Delaware.

It also lists the ten states with the lowest staffing levels: Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Illinois, Indiana, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa.

For more information on staffing levels at US nursing homes, and how staffing shortages may have exacerbated health and safety issues in nursing homes in the months leading up to the coronavirus pandemic, visit the LTCCC here.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC work diligently to protect the rights of nursing home residents.  Please contact us to discuss in the event you have a potential case involving neglect or abuse.

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