The Link between Nursing Home Staff Turnover and Star Ratings:

A recent CMS-funded study suggests a link between high staff turnover and the low star ratings that result from negligent care related to nursing home neglect and abuse.

Low nursing home staff turnover promotes higher quality of care, says a new study highlighted by McKnights Long-Term Care News. The study demands a renewed initiative by nursing homes to retain nursing home staff.

Funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and originally published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the study analyzed data from over 13,000 nursing homes to determine how the link between nursing home staff turnover and star ratings, relating to the quality of care.

The star rating system was created over a decade ago by CMS to assist the public in choosing a nursing home. In this system, where five stars indicate a high-performing home and one star suggests poor quality, long-term care facilities are assigned star ratings according to such metrics as health inspection scores, staffing hours per resident, and quality of care. Such factors as nursing home falls, the occurrence and worsening of bedsores, and other evidence of nursing home neglect and abuse calculate into the star rating.

According to McKnight’s, researchers determined a consistent pattern: the annual turnover rates for nurses and nursing staff were lower among nursing homes that had higher star ratings. While 1-star homes showed average total nursing staff annual turnover rates of 53.4%, the rates for 5-star facilities was 40.7%. With the data showing a clear link between high turnover and lower stars, and therefore between nursing home staffing levels and quality of care, the study underscores the imperative to maintain consistent staffing.

The coronavirus pandemic in particular has presented the nursing home industry with staffing challenges; however, providing adequate staff and preventing high staff turnover has been an issue for many American nursing homes since long before COVID. Noting the link between staffing issues and occurrences of nursing home abuse and neglect—such as preventable problems like nursing home falls and incidences of bed sores—long-term care facilities need to investigate and implement strategies to retain staff and prevent turnover.

Demanding High Quality Care for Your Loved One

Determining the quality and safety of the Philadelphia/PA or NJ nursing home where your loved one lives is essential. Meeting health and safety standards and to ensuring the physical, mental, and psycho/social well-being of their residents is a requirement to which Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing homes must adhere. Should you have concerns about the quality of care in a Pennsylvania or New Jersey nursing home, or if you suspect neglect, abuse, or fraud has occurred at the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, or New Jersey nursing home where your loved one lives, please contact nursing home abuse attorney Brian P. Murphy to discover your legal rights and options.