SNFs: Staffing is More Important than Ever! CMS Begins Posting Staff Turnover and Weekend Staff Levels on Medicare Care Compare.

CMS will begin posting for the first time ever, staff turnover rates and weekend staff levels for nursing homes on the Care Compare website today. Staffing in nursing homes has a substantial impact on the quality of care and outcomes residents experience. Having access to this information helps consumers understand more about each nursing home facility’s staffing environment and choose a facility that provides the highest quality of care.

Staff turnover is the percent of nursing staff and number of administrators that stopped working at a nursing home over a 12-month period. The nursing staff included in this measure includes licensed nurse staff (i.e. registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical and vocational nurses as well as nurse aides who work under the direction of licensed nurse staff and provide much of the day-to-day care for nursing home residents, such as eating, bathing, grooming and toileting. Weekend staffing is the level of total nurse and RN staffing on weekends provided by each nursing home over a quarter.

CMS has explored the relationship between staff turnover and quality of care and a preliminary analysis indicates that as the average staff turnover decreases, the overall star ratings for facilities increases, suggesting that lower turnover is associated with higher overall quality. Staff turnover data also helps providers to improve the quality of care and services they deliver to residents. This information will allow consumers the ability to review nursing homes’ measures relative to other nursing homes and will also be included in the Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating System in July 2022.

For more than ten years, CMS has been posting information on facility staffing measures on the website, including the average number of hours worked reported for nursing staff per resident per day. These staffing measures are also used to calculate each nursing home’s star rating for the staffing rating domain as part of the Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating System.

Posting this new information will not create any additional reporting requirements for nursing homes. There is nothing new that nursing homes need to do or report. CMS is using the same data that facilities have been reporting since 2016, as part of the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) program. The data is submitted to CMS electronically, and most nursing homes export their data directly from their automated time-keeping or payroll systems.

To review the CMS guidance memo about Nursing home Staff Turnover and Weekend Staffing Levels, please click here.