California toughens enforcement of nurse staffing ratio

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A new law in California strictly enforces the nursing home staffing mandate of 3.2 nursing hours per patient day.

If facilities don't meet the staffing ratio, they face penalties, according to part of a health budget trailer bill signed into law recently by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). Also, nursing homes will be audited to make sure they are in compliance.

The changes are an effort to reinforce the Long Term Care Reimbursement Act of 2004, said Pat McGinnis, executive director of the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, according to the Merced Sun-Star news outlet.