On February 28, 2022, the Biden-Harris administration announced a series of proposed regulatory reforms to address quality of care and staffing in nursing homes. Under the announced proposal, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will seek to establish a minimum nursing home staffing requirement based on a yet-to-be conducted study examining the correlation between staffing and quality of care. CMS will also seek to implement new facility reimbursement programs based on staffing adequacy and retention and resident quality of care.
President Biden will also call upon Congress for a $500 million increase in funding to increase CMS’s survey capabilities, which would represent a 25% increase in its current budget. Under this proposal, CMS would place special focus on the poorest-performing nursing homes by overhauling and strengthening currently-existing regulations regarding these facilities. CMS will also seek to increase the sums of sanctions to be imposed against bad-actor facilities and enforce per-day fines for regulatory breaches.
The Biden administration will also examine the role of private equity ownership of facilities based on studies identifying diminished quality of care outcomes, such as increased emergency department visits, preventable hospitalizations, and increased mortality by those ownership groups. The proposal will seek to eliminate corporate nursing home ownership with a propensity for providing substandard care.
President Biden will address his unveiled regulatory proposals during the March 1 State of the Union address. The Goldberg Segalla Long-Term and Health Care practice groups will follow this developing story and provide interim updates.
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