Legislature Debates Nursing Home Staffing Ratios, Facilities Oppose Mandates as ‘Arbitrary’
The Sacramento Bee reports on the debate over staffing ratios at nursing homes and a bill (AB 1075) that would require facilities to "add more caregivers." Introduced by Assembly member Kevin Shelley (D-San Francisco), the bill would require one nurse per seven patients during the day, reducing the ratio to one nurse per five patients beginning in 2004. The legislation would not take effect for a year. Nursing home owners have criticized the bill as "arbitrary" and "impossible to accomplish" because of a shortage of workers. With the state's competitive job market, nursing home owners say that they are unable to attract workers with "relatively low-paying jobs." The Bee reports that state health officials will make staffing recommendations after completing a study of the situation. The study was due May 1, but officials said the report is still "under review" (Teichert, Sacramento Bee, 6/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.