5 Ways Staffing Platforms Can Help You Meet the Upcoming Federal Staffing Mandate

Ensuring sufficient staffing levels is one of the biggest challenges facing nursing homes and other long term care facilities. In February 2022, as part of a proposal to improve the safety and quality of care in nursing homes, the Biden Administration proposed a minimum staffing requirement. Concerns about meeting this mandate are nearly universal as nursing homes have struggled with a historic labor shortage, intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been 210,000 nursing home workers lost during the pandemic and a more than 13% decline in the available workforce.1

Federal law currently requires that skilled nursing facilities provide 24-hour licensed nursing services and that a registered nurse must be available for at least eight consecutive hours a day, seven days a week. Although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have not yet released the parameters of the new staffing mandate proposal, nearly all nursing home providers are concerned about being able to meet the requirement for more staff.2

When the American Health Care Association (AHCA) asked nursing home providers what their biggest concern was about a potential federal minimum staffing requirement, finding staff to meet the requirement was their biggest concern.2 Whatever the requirements end up being, a new generation of digital platform companies are available to help. Offering “on demand” staffing support, these tech-based providers can help preserve your skilled nursing facilities’ Five Star Quality Ratings, prevent closing units due to insufficient staff, avoid fines and ensure quality care.

Here are the top five benefits of using a platform partner to help meet the requirements of a federal staffing mandate:

1. Flexibility – This week, you need LPNs mid-week. Next week, it looks like you’re short CNAs on the weekend. Platforms allow you to add whatever skill set you need at any point in time, so you can meet staffing requirements. They provide a reliable, cost-effective option for filling gaps in your schedule.

2. Speed – Responding quickly to staffing gaps is critical. Backed by tech, platform partners can provide the staff you need – at the click of a button – and on short notice. This is particularly useful during unexpected staff shortages, such as when staff members call in sick.

3. Compliance – Finding staff is only part of the solution. To ensure quality care, you also have to be sure temporary staff are up-to-date on their credentials. In contrast to traditional staffing companies that typically rely on paper-based records, platforms allow you to access clinician records digitally whenever you need them.

4. Continuity of Care – Using a platform partner doesn’t mean you always have someone new walking in the door. Many platforms include features that allow you to secure the same clinicians on a routine or extended basis. So as you work to meet the staffing mandate, you can do so in a way that also aligns with providing continuity of care for your patients and residents.

5. Access to a Larger Pool of Candidates – Sourcing qualified staff can be one of the biggest challenges that nursing homes face. Because of their scalability, platform partners provide you with access to a large pool of candidates, including those with specialized skills or certifications. This can be particularly useful if you have patients that require specialized care.

If your skilled nursing facility needs help meeting current or expected staffing requirements, Gale Healthcare Solutions can help. As a leading platform serving the long-term care and senior care industry, Gale has more than 60,000 clinicians across 40 states ready to step in and provide the staffing support you need. We can meet a wide variety of needs – from per diem to permanent positions. Find out why so many healthcare providers choose Gale. Contact us HERE for more information about how we can provide an efficient, flexible, high-quality solution to your staffing challenges.

1. https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/FactSheets/State-of-Nursing-Homes-Infographic.pdf

2. https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/FactSheets/SNF-Survey-December-2022.pdf