Biden-Harris Administration Unveils New Rules for Improving Nursing Homes and Care Options

April 23, 2024
The rules include setting minimum staffing standards for nursing homes and ensuring access to Medicaid services.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued three final rules “to fulfill President Biden’s commitment to support family caregivers, boost compensation and job quality for care workers, expand and improve care options, and improve the safety and quality of care in federally-funded nursing homes.” A press release issued through HHS’s website has the full slate of details.

The first rule, entitled “Minimum Staffing Standards for Nursing Homes,” establishes that residents in nursing homes across the country will receive a “minimum total of 3.48 hours of nursing care per day.” It also mandates having a “registered nurse on site 24 hours per day” in nursing homes, as well as a “stronger annual facility assessment than is currently required.”

The second rule, “Ensuring Access to Medicaid Services,” creates “national standards that will allow people enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to better access care when they need it and also strengthens home and community-based services (HCBS), which millions of older adults and people with disabilities rely upon to live in the community.” The rule will set “minimum threshold standards for payments to the direct care workforce, create meaningful engagement with Medicaid consumers, and advance provider rate transparency.”

The third and final rule, “Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Managed Care Access, Finance, and Quality,” sets out to “improve access to care, accountability, and transparency for more than 70 percent of Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries who are enrolled in a managed care plan. It will require a limit on how long enrollees have to wait for an appointment and allow people to compare plan performance based on quality and access to providers.”

About the Author

Matt MacKenzie | Associate Editor

Matt is Associate Editor for Healthcare Purchasing News.