The New York Times reports that nursing homes have been been gaming the Medicare system, disguising that they are terribly understaffed, with not enough nurses and nurses’ aides, to call themselves “ Nursing Homes “ leaving resident alone without care on a regular basis .
The front-page story published this past Sunday, reported skilled nursing homes on weekends are not “skilled” and barely have enough staff to tend to the patients. One man who cares for his wife is quoted in the story that on weekends, the facility it is almost like a ghost town.
What the article refers to is staff ratios This is the number of staff per patient needed to care for patients who need a high level of care from the nurses and aides, to change diapers, feed them, dress them all the activities of living these patients cannot do themselves.
What the article alleges Medicare just discovered that the nursing homes have been lying for years on about staff ratios. Kaiser Heath News just reported that data from nursing homes coming from payroll tells the real truth about inadequate staffing to care for these very disabled patients
The payroll data that proves these severe staffing shortages leading to dangerous patient care comes come from daily payroll records Medicare only recently began gathering and publishing from more than 14,000 nursing homes, as required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Medicare previously had been rating each facility’s staffing levels based on the homes’ own unverified reports.
The government has been a party to this by coming up with their star rating, giving five stars like a Michelin rating ,to what they considered great nursing homes. But these stars were not verified by inspections on a regular basis or payroll records, and staffing was self-reported.
.So, by checking payroll records of staff the real truth came out- nursing homes are dangerous places to leave loved ones who need high levels of care. This is not like having a poor meal at a five-star restaurant. This is like putting your mother in a place that the government says has great care and having her die of neglect.