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Putting A Spotlight on Retention in Light of New CMS Minimum Staffing Standards

By MissionCare Collective | May 29, 2024

Putting A Spotlight on Retention in Light of New CMS Minimum Staffing Standards

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently finalized a rule that has set new federal minimum staffing standards for nursing homes across the nation. Under these new regulations, facilities will be required to maintain a minimum of 3.48 hours per resident day (HPRD) of total direct nursing care. Of these hours, at least 0.55 HPRD must be provided by Registered Nurses (RNs), with the remaining 2.45 HPRD covered by nurse aides.

This new mandate comes at a critical time when the industry is grappling with significant workforce reductions. The added staffing requirements will strain facilities that are already facing challenges in maintaining a full staff complement due to high turnover rates. A recent study highlighted in James Berklan's article for McKnight's underscores the importance of not only increasing staffing levels but also retaining experienced nurses and administrators to ensure high-quality care.

The study, conducted by researchers including Brian McGarry, PhD, from the University of Rochester, and Karen Shen, PhD, from Johns Hopkins University, was published in JAMA Internal Medicine. It analyzed over 1.45 million facility-weeks of staffing data from April 2017 to December 2019. The findings revealed that a 10 percentage point increase in nurse staff turnover correlates with a 4% increase in health citations and a 2% rise in adverse resident outcomes, such as declines in mobility and independence.

These results suggest that improving staff retention could be as crucial to improving care quality as meeting the new minimum staffing requirements. High turnover not only affects care quality but also increases operational costs related to recruitment, training, and the use of temporary staffing solutions.

How can we help? Hear how ProMedica is navigating employee engagement and retention with MissionCare Collective's CoachUp Care.

Watch Promedica Workforce Strategy Story Here