Nursing homes with lower-than-average weekend staffing will face more frequent weekend inspections by state survey agencies checking up on quality of care and resident safety, the CMS announced Friday.
The CMS notified state survey agencies it will use payroll-based staffing data to identify facilities with reduced weekend staffing, and require the agencies to conduct at least 50% of off-hours surveys of those facilities on weekends, starting immediately., according to Modern Healthcare.
That percentage is up sharply from the previously required 10% of surveys performed on weekends or during non-business hours.
The action grows out of research showing that nursing homes with higher nurse staffing levels tend to have fewer resident hospitalizations. The CMS said that while most facilities have somewhat fewer staff on weekends, certain facilities have significantly lower weekend staffing. Some report days with no RNs on-site.
"We're deeply concerned about potential inadequacies in staffing … and the impact this can have on patient care," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a written statement. The new policy will strengthen oversight of resident health and safety and help ensure accurate public reporting, she added.
The CMS has been under congressional pressure to increase its oversight of nursing home quality and safety following reports by Kaiser Health News and other news organizations of abuse, neglect and substandard care at facilities across the country.
Read the full story at Modern Healthcare.