More than ever, you need an engaged, experienced, reliable team to shine.
Stepping up your game on staffing is more urgent than ever after an announcement last week out of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The agency outlined plans to update the star ratings on its Nursing Home Compare website in April to include tougher criteria for staffing level ratios.
Specifically, CMS is setting higher thresholds and evidence-based standards for nursing home staffing levels. According to a news release from the agency, “Nurse staffing has the greatest impact on the quality of care nursing homes deliver, which is why CMS analyzed the relationship between staffing levels and outcomes.”
The agency determined that when staffing levels increase, quality increases and is assigning an automatic one-star rating when a nursing home reports “no registered nurse (RN) is onsite.” Currently, facilities that report seven or more days in a quarter with no registered nurse onsite are automatically assigned a one-star staffing rating. In April 2019, the threshold for the number of days without an RN onsite in a quarter that triggers an automatic downgrade to one-star will be reduced from seven days to four days. CMS is also making changes to the quality component on Nursing Home Compare that would improve identifying differences in quality among nursing homes, raise expectations for quality, and incentivize continuous quality improvement.
In another change, CMS will lift the freeze on the health inspection ratings instituted in February 2018. The agency froze the health inspection star ratings category after implementing a new survey process for long-term care facilities. Without the freeze, facilities would have been scored using two different evaluation processes that would have made the outcomes misaligned and the data inaccurate. The plan was to freeze the health inspection star rating score until all nursing homes were surveyed at least once under the new survey process. Starting in April, consumers will be able to see the current status of a facility’s compliance. This, according to CMS, is a” very strong reflection of a facility’s ability to improve and protect each resident’s health and safety.”
In announcing these changes, CMS administrator Seema Verma said, “Our updates to Nursing Home Compare reflect more transparent and meaningful information about the quality of care that each nursing home is giving its residents. Our goal is to drive quality improvements across the industry and empower consumers to make decision with more confidence for their loved ones.”
There is no one answer to staffing challenges. However, many organizations are turning to talent management technology, including behavioral assessments, artificial intelligence, and applicant tracking software. Behavioral assessments, for instance, enable HR to assess candidates for their behavioral competencies such as compassion and teamwork to find the best fits for the company culture. Applicant tracking software enables you to maintain a robust pool of candidates for different positions, so you can determine where you need to focus or enhance your recruitment efforts. Used effectively, talent management technology can help you fill open positions more quickly and hire people who are most likely to stay.