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Quick & Easy: Submit Suggested Responses to CMS Regarding Staffing

May 24, 2022

On April 15, 2022, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that included requests for information regarding the implementation of a minimum staffing standard in nursing homes. CMS states it plans to propose a minimum staffing standard within one year.

Consumer Voice strongly supports the proposal for a minimum staffing standard. Inadequate staffing is the primary driver of poor health outcomes in nursing homes.

It's imperative that advocates, family members, and residents of long-term care facilities share their stories with CMS by responding to the request for information by June 10, 2022.

Responding to the request for information is easy and takes just 1-2 minutes.

Follow these steps:

1.)  Go to the Federal Register's website and click the green "Submit a Formal Comment" button. Note: It is easiest to keep this page open while submitting your comment, so you can refer back to the instructions.

2.) In the Comment box:

Copy and paste the heading: CMS must establish a minimum staffing standard. CMS-1765-P

Write your personal story about how inadequate staffing in a nursing home has affected you or someone you know.

Copy and paste: 

It is well-established residents in nursing homes with higher staffing levels have better health outcomes. Yet far too many nursing homes fail to staff at levels that are known to prevent harm.  This was true even before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The current federal requirement for “sufficient” staff is not sufficient. When there isn’t enough staff, residents suffer.  They decline physically, they lose weight, they fall trying to get out of bed or move around on their own, and they get pressure ulcers because there’s no one there to help them move.  Without adequate staff, residents may wait hours to get up in the morning, receive their meals, or go to bed at night.  Call bells go unanswered and residents lose their dignity, unable to perform even the most basic tasks like showering or using the bathroom. 

Nursing home workers struggle to provide the care residents need, but they face an impossible situation. Staff, particularly certified nursing assistants, are undercompensated, undertrained, undervalued and disrespected.

A minimum staffing standard will create a staffing baseline below which a nursing home cannot go. This will improve residents’ quality of care and better protect their health safety and well-being. It will also motivate nursing homes to improve the quality of jobs, which will help them keep the staff they have and hire new employees.

I urge CMS to establish minimum staffing requirements without delay.  Residents have suffered long enough.

3.) In the drop-down question, "What is your comment about?" choose: Long-term Care - HPA45

4.) Complete the remaining questions on the form, and click Submit.

Thank you for making your voice heard!

If you would prefer to submit more detailed comments, please follow these instructions.

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