State Public Health Dept. Clarifies Guidelines on Nursing Home Staffing
The California Department of Public Health recently released new guidelines clarifying state requirements on staffing levels at nursing home facilities, the Los Angeles Daily Journal reports.
State law requires nursing homes to provide 3.2 nursing hours per patient daily.
The clarification states that employees hired for non-nurse positions can be included in calculations for the total number of nursing hours that a facility provides. However, such employees must hold a nursing certification and must provide documentation of their services.
Eligible employees could include those who work with:
- Dietary issues;
- Housekeeping; and
- Medical records.
Attorneys for nursing homes praised the clarification, noting that the new guidelines could help nursing home facilities defend themselves against pending and future lawsuits.
However, patient advocates expressed concern that the guidelines are too weak and could jeopardize patient safety.
Patricia McGinnis, executive director of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, said her organization might pursue a legal challenge to the clarified guidelines (Gallegos, Los Angeles Daily Journal, 2/1).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.