Citations, staff levels decline

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The average number of nursing home deficiencies has dropped, but staffing levels are lower than expert recommendations, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report. 

Kaiser's “Nursing Facilities, Staffing, Residents and Facility Deficiencies” report, published in July, outlines national SNF trends using data from the Online Survey, Certification, and Reporting system and Survey Provider Enhanced Reports.

Citations per facility fell from 9.33 to 7.28 between 2009 and 2013, with a slight increase to 8.6 in 2015.

Facilities that received no deficiencies rose from 7% in 2011 to 8% in 2013 before returning to 7% in 2015. 

Although the report showed total nursing hours averaged 4.1 per resident day in 2015 — which is higher than 3.9 hours in 2009 — it still falls short of recommendations from some experts, Kaiser noted. 

They include a panel of University of California researchers who suggested in an article in The Gerontologist that 4.55 hours per resident day is appropriate.