Get the Facts

The 2011 Cuts to Nursing Home Staffing were a Big Giveaway to the Nursing Home Industry.  The legislature chose nursing home profits over patient quality and safety.

According to a new report by The Bonadio Group, many Florida nursing homes are highly profitable and have the resources to staff nursing homes at a safe level for our elders and people living with a disability.

  • In response to the nursing home industry complaints about Medicaid cuts, the legislature cut mandatory staffing levels, which offset a large majority of Medicaid cuts. This allowed nursing homes to maintain high profit margins at the expense of quality care.
  • Before staffing level cuts, the nursing home industry made $350 million in profits.

[Combined Impact of Staffing and Budget Cuts on Florida Skilled Nursing Facilities; The Bonadio Group, 2012]

  • Statewide profits were approximately $314 million after adjusting for both the Medicaid payment cut and the minimum staffing reductions

[Combined Impact of Staffing and Budget Cuts on Florida Skilled Nursing Facilities; The Bonadio Group, 2012]

Our seniors and most vulnerable can’t afford additional cuts to Nursing Home Staffing.  High quality care is directly linked to staffing levels.

  • Dr. Kathryn Hyer, Ph.D., M.P.P from the University of South Florida found that “poor quality of care is linked to inadequate staffing levels.”  She also found that that “quality of care has substantially improved in Florida nursing homes since the introduction of increased nurse staffing levels and other quality standards since 2001.”

[Preliminary Analyses on Outcomes of Increased Nurse Staffing Policies in Florida Nursing Homes, USF, 2009]

  • Experts say that the most important measure of quality of care is the amount of staff available to provide care.

[Proposals for Improvements in Nursing Home Quality, UCSF, 2007]

  • A study by Abt Associates for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal arm of Medicare and Medicaid, reported that 2.8 nursing assistant hours per resident day were needed to protect residents.

[US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Prepared by Abt Associates Inc. 2001. Appropriateness of Minimum Nurse Staffing Ratios in Nursing Homes. Report to Congress: Phase II Final. Volumes I-III]

  • The new legislative standards of 2.5 certified nursing assistant average hours per resident day fall short of this standard. Experts say that a total of 4.1 hours of care per resident day or higher is needed to ensure high quality care. Florida’s recent reduction to 3.6 total hours of resident care is well below the recommended levels of care.

[US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Prepared by Abt Associates Inc. 2001. Appropriateness of Minimum Nurse Staffing Ratios in Nursing Homes. Report to Congress: Phase II Final. Volumes I-III]

Our economy can’t afford these job losses.

  • Total nursing staff (including CNAs) has fallen by about 2,650 statewide since March 2011.

[1199SEIU analysis of data from the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA)]

  • Since March 31, 2011, more than 4 out of every 5 nursing homes (83%) in the state of Florida have reduced their total hours of nursing care per day.

[1199SEIU analysis of data from the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA)]

  • “Long-term care facilities contribute to other businesses through a ripple effect, with each nursing home job resulting in two additional jobs or nearly $5 of added economic activity within a local community.”[Florida Health Care Association (FHCA)]

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