Federal contractors are heading into 75 nursing homes this fall to gather data needed to establish a first-ever federal minimum staffing mandate.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services contractor Abt Associates will stage visits at select facilities through October. The White House plans to have staffing minimums in place by March 2023.

Abt researchers are collecting information and opinions from staff, residents and family members at facilities in 15 states, spanning all 10 CMS regions. Buildings with a variety of quality star ratings and in disadvantaged areas will be visited to gauge variances in needs and abilities of various providers.

Providers remained wary. The American Health Care Association released a report late last month stating that a poorly thought out minimum staffing mandate could cost $10 billion annually to implement. n