Budget Bill to Increase Nursing Home Staffing Requirements
The Governor is expected to sign a budget bill, SB 97, the Legislature adopted in late June that will increase minimum staffing requirements for freestanding skilled nursing facilities from 3.2 nursing hours per resident per day (HPRPD) to 3.5 direct care HPRPD, effective July 1, 2018. Certified nurse assistants must provide at least 2.4 of these hours per resident each day once the 3.5 HPRPD requirement takes effect. Although the new requirements are not nearly adequate to ensure sufficient staffing , they should be good news for California nursing home residents who have not seen any increases in minimum staffing requirements this century. The Department of Public Health is charged with establishing regulations to implement the new requirements.
One change in the wrong direction will allow skilled nursing facilities to count caregiving time of nursing assistants in approved training programs toward the minimum staffing requirements. The new law also fails to set minimum direct care hours by RNs or LVNs, who are in very short supply at many nursing homes.
CANHR will post details about the new requirements as they become available.