Inadequate Staffing in Nursing Homes: Article in Bar Briefs
In the article “Nursing Home Staffing: The Life Blood of Quality Care and Your Case,” published in Louisville Bar Briefs, Stephen Garcia and Brandon Faulkner discuss understaffing and its correlation to serious injuries and reduced quality of care in nursing homes.
A study conducted by the elder advocacy group Families for Better Care ranked Kentucky’s nursing homes 30th overall as a state, and determined that nearly 58% of long-term care facilities in Kentucky failed to provide the national average of two hours per day of direct care to residents. It has been established by numerous studies and reports that the decrease of nurses and nurses’ aides “predictably results in less individualized care for residents and an increase in negative outcomes.”
Though Kentucky has no minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes, Mr. Garcia and Mr. Faulkner elaborated on guidelines for what practitioners can do in order to prove that a nursing home participating in Medicare has failed to comply with federal regulations for sufficient staffing, with specific examples of key documentation categories that can aid in the process.
The knowledge of what steps can be taken against nursing homes that have violated regulations, as well as which documents should be obtained and analyzed to best expand arguments regarding understaffing, are important steps toward a better quality of care for nursing home patients.