Nurse Staffing Hours At Nursing Homes With High Concentrations Of Minority Residents 200111
Author: Yue Li, Charlene Harrington, Dana B. Mukamel, Xi Cen, Xueya Cai, Helena Temkin-Greener
Recent increases in state Medicaid payments to nursing homes have the potential to reduce disparities in nurse staffing between facilities with high and low concentrations of racial/ethnic minority residents. Analyses of nursing home and state policy survey data for the period 2001–11 suggest that registered nurse and licensed practical nurse staffing levels increased slightly during this period, regardless of racial/ethnic minority resident concentration. Adjusted disparities in registered nurse hours per resident day between nursing homes with high and low concentrations of minority residents persisted, although they were reduced. Certified nursing assistant hours per patient day increased in nursing homes with low concentrations of minorities but decreased in homes with high concentrations, creating a new disparity. Overall, increases in state Medicaid payment rates to nursing homes were associated with improvements in staffing and reduced staffing disparities across facilities, but the adoption of case-mix payments had the opposite effect. Further reforms in health care delivery and payment are needed to address persistent disparities in care between nursing homes serving higher proportions of minority residents and those serving lower proportions, and to prevent unintended exacerbations of such disparities.