In late February, the White House released an outline on proposed nursing home reforms, including minimum staffing requirements and other goals concerning quality, safety and oversight.
Like hospitals, nursing homes have been hammered by workforce issues during the pandemic. What are some changes that could help with staffing?
Brian Perry: There’s been a lot of reporting on the nurse staffing agency problems the industry is having and the high costs. That’s been an incredible challenge. Nurses are leaving for myriad reasons. … And when you realize there aren’t enough seats in nursing schools to train the nurses we need, there also aren’t enough instructors to teach those nurses where seats are available.
Susan Reinhard: We do believe front-line workers in nursing facilities need better pay, which would help, but we also think, particularly around Medicaid payment, that we shouldn’t just raise the rates. When states do raise the rates, they should make sure the bulk of that funding goes to direct care, that it goes to paying the workers, for infection control, for direct care services.