“People want covid-19 to be in the rearview mirror,” one nursing home official says. Faced with a slow rollout of the updated covid vaccines, and without state mandates for workers to get vaccinated, most skilled nursing facilities are relying on persuasion to boost vaccination rates among staff and residents.
The proposal would require major hiring at the most sparsely staffed homes. But the proposal is already badly received by the nursing home industry, which claims it can’t boost wages enough to attract workers.
Research commissioned by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services analyzed only staffing levels below what experts have previously called ideal. Patient advocates have been pushing for more staff to improve care.
Each year, Medicare punishes hospitals that have high rates of readmissions and high rates of infections and patient injuries. Check out which hospitals have been penalized.
As the federal government debates whether to require higher staffing levels at nursing homes, financial records show owners routinely push profits to sister companies while residents are neglected. “A dog would get better care than he did,” one resident’s wife said.
Federal officials said they are penalizing 2,273 hospitals, the fewest since the fiscal year that ended in September 2014. Driving the decline was a change in the formula to compensate for the chaos caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
The president wants to set minimum staffing levels for the beleaguered nursing home industry. But, given a lack of transparency surrounding the industry’s finances, it’s a mystery how facilities will shoulder the added costs.
Among the 764 hospitals hit with a 1% reduction in Medicare payments this year for having high numbers of patient infections and avoidable complications are more than three dozen that Medicare also ranks as among the best in the country, including Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Physician assistants are pushing to be renamed “physician associates,” complaining their title is belittling and doesn’t convey what they do. “We don’t assist,” they insist. Doctors’ groups fear there’s more than just a name in play.
More than 9 in 10 general acute-care hospitals have been penalized at least once in the past decade.