Kansans for Better Care (KABC) has been actively campaigning to pass a bill, HB 2348, that would raise Kansas’s minimum staffing standard to 4.26 hour per resident per day over the course of three years. The current Kansas minimum standard is 1.85 average hours per resident per day, which was put in place roughly 30 years ago and is significantly below the minimum 4.1 hours per resident per day recommended by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) study. The legislation would also enact a civil monetary penalty for every subsequent day in which a nursing home fails to adhere to this standard following a correction order.
On February 26th, Mitzi McFatrich, KABC Executive Director and Consumer Voice Leadership Council member, testified before the Kansas State Legislature’s House Children and Seniors Committee in support of the bill. Ms. McFatrich highlighted the harm nursing homes resident are subject to due to poor staffing, as well as the cost-savings that could be achieved from increasing the ratio of daily nursing care to residents. To read her testimony, click here. KABC has also produced a PowerPoint presentation on the bill and the need for increased staffing, as well as a list of all KS nursing homes, their deficiencies with detail about immediate jeopardy and actual harm citations, and the most recent staffing data they provided to the KS Department of Aging and Disability Services. This presentation can be viewed here.
Although this legislation was tabled by the committee (members expressed needing more time to understand the issues at hand), it may potentially be considered during this session of the legislature under other means. Furthermore, the committee will likely hold an interim hearing for further discussion concerning the bill. Consumer Voice applauds the efforts of KABC and other advocates to establish a much improved minimum staffing standard.
Click here to read the proposed legislation.