It’s no secret that the Biden administration is planning to implement mandatory staffing levels in nursing facilities that are reimbursed through Medicare and Medicaid. In the most recent step to announcing this measure last Thursday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published new guidance on staffing measures tied to the five-star rating system.
The new CMS rating system will be based on six separate staffing measures and will rate performance by a points system based on performance. The points will then be totaled and compared to the staffing rating point threshold to assign a star rating from one to five stars, McKnight’s reports.
CMS specified that a maximum of 100 points may be awarded for case-mix adjusted total nurse staffing and RN staffing, 50 points for staffing per resident per day on weekends, 50 for annual total nurse turnover, RN turnover and administration turnover, Skilled Nursing News reports.
Nursing homes are currently struggling, and the market reflects it as small-scale nursing home owners are rapidly selling to larger buyers. According to SNN, mergers and acquisitions in the nursing home sector made up 40% of all deals in senior care in June. From Ben Swett, senior care analyst for LevinPro LTC:
We know the buyer interest is there, so this means more SNF owners got off the sidelines to sell their facilities.
Post-acute care services and the number of locally available skilled nursing facility beds has a direct correlation to readmission rates in hospitals, according to RevCycle Intelligence. But according to the cited study, continuity of providers in nursing care is just as important as bed availability:
Researchers explained that hospitals in areas with more local availability of nurse practitioners and even home health agencies may experience higher readmissions because of frequent staffing changes and resulting discontinuities of care.