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Bush administration to reject minimum staffing ratios. (NH News Notes).

Nursing home providers fearing minimum staffing ratios can breathe a sigh of relief. An article in the February 18 edition of The New York Times discussed a report (not yet released to Congress as of press time) highlighting facilities' staffing problems, finding that more than 9 out of 10 homes lack proper staff levels to care for patients adequately. According to the article, the Bush administration aims to have market forces and more efficient use of existing staff address the problem because implementing staffing ratios would be too costly ($7.6 billion a year).

Donna R. Lenhoff, executive director of the National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform, said in a release that the study shows "strong and compelling evidence of the relationship between staffing ratios and quality of nursing home care" and called on the government to implement minimum nursing standards.

American Health Care Association President and CEO Charles H. Roadman II, MD, highlighted the need for adequate reimbursement in a statement reacting to the Times article: "...it should come as no surprise to policymakers that in order to increase wages, and to make front line nursing jobs more competitive, Medicaid can no longer pay just slightly more than $4 per hour, per patient, for shelter, meals, labor costs, special care, certain therapies and other items. Costs far outweigh governmental reimbursements for care, chronic underfunding of Medicaid directly impacts staffing, and this fact can no longer be denied."
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Author:Edwards, Douglas J.
Publication:Nursing Homes
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Apr 1, 2002
Words:239
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