CHA Statement on Minimum Mandatory Nurse Staffing Standards for Long-Term Care Facilities

For Immediate Release
April 23, 2024

Contact:  Brian Reardon

CHA Statement on Department of Health and Human Services
Minimum Mandatory Nurse Staffing Standards for Long-Term Care Facilities

The Department of Health and Human Services has released its final regulations setting minimum mandatory nurse staffing standards for long-term care facilities. We strongly agree that adequate nurse staffing is essential for the well-being of nursing home residents. It is nurses who, day in and day out, meet the clinical, personal hygiene, psychosocial and other needs of nursing home residents by providing compassionate and attentive care. 

But we are deeply disappointed that the final rule not only establishes an ill-advised staffing mandate, it increased the hours requirement. There simply are not enough qualified nurses to satisfy the standards. And if there were, inadequate Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates mean there are not the resources to pay them.  We are deeply concerned that the new staffing mandate could actually harm residents and nursing facilities, which will have to leave beds empty or even close if there are not enough nurses to meet the mandate.  Vulnerable seniors will have even less access to the quality care they need.  

While disappointed in the final rule, we stand ready to work with providers, patient representatives, HHS and Congress to ensure adequate funding for nurse training and for reimbursement and to find realistic and effective solutions to ensure quality of care in nursing homes.  Our frail elders and others in long-term care facilities deserve no less.

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The Catholic Health Association of the United States is the national leadership organization of the Catholic health ministry, representing the largest nonprofit provider of health care services in the nation.

  • 1 in 7 patients in the U.S. is cared for in a Catholic hospital each day.
  • Catholic health care, which includes more than 2,200 hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, systems, sponsors, and related organizations, serves the full continuum of health care across our nation.
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