Most U.S. skilled nursing facilities fail to consistently meet staffing requirements mandated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
ISELIN, N.J. (December 1, 2020) — SmartLinx Solutions, a leading provider of workforce management solutions dedicated to helping senior care providers navigate workforce challenges, including those stemming from COVID-19, today announced the SmartLinx Five-Star Predictor. The Five-Star Predictor gives long-term and post-acute care operators the power to proactively predict and improve their Five-Star Quality Ratings for staffing.
Staffing data comprises one of the three criteria the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uses to assign Five-Star Ratings to long-term care and post-acute care facilities. Ratings carry significant financial implications. The government bases per-patient Medicare reimbursements on the facility’s Five-Star Rating and distributes greater reimbursements to facilities with the highest ratings. Meanwhile, consumers, physicians, and financial institutions use the Five-Star Rating system to make informed decisions.
However, many facilities receive low Five-Star Ratings because they fail to meet CMS requirements for nursing care. The nursing shortage, high employee turnover, and sudden scheduling changes make meeting staffing requirements an ongoing challenge. Even before COVID-19, the senior care industry experienced 33% employee turnover each year, according to Argentum’s 2020 Workforce Trends Report. Skilled nursing facilities report even greater shortages.
A July 2019 study by Harvard and Stanford University revealed many facilities struggle to meet CMS staffing demands that require keeping a registered nurse (RN) onsite at least eight hours a day, including weekends. “One troubling aspect of our findings is that 75% of nursing homes were almost never in compliance with what CMS expected their RN staffing level to be, based on residents’ acuity,” wrote Fangli Geng, David Stevenson, and David Grabowski in Daily Nursing Home Staffing Levels Highly Variable, Often Below CMS Expectations for HealthAffairs.
The Growing Focus on Staffing Levels
The COVID-19 crisis has prompted new staffing requirements, as well as renewed attention on nursing home staffing levels. For example, New Jersey recently passed a law that defines the certified nursing aides (CNAs) per patient ratio.
To accommodate new staffing regulations, operators need integrated scheduling and attendance software that can be easily adjusted. SmartLinx workforce management suite helps operators to effectively address these staffing challenges by creating schedules that support evolving federal and state requirements, tracking attendance against these levels, and quickly closing open shifts before they jeopardize staffing levels.
Key SmartLinx Five-Star Predictor Benefits
In addition to identifying staffing compliance issues before they manifest, SmartLinx Five-Star Predictor calculates each facility’s projected star rating for staffing in real-time. Providers learn what they must do to achieve their desired star rating weeks or months before the CMS reporting deadline. The Five-Star Predictor also delivers warnings when a facility’s staffing falls below their desired star rating’s requirements.
- Better Five-Star Ratings: Predicts Five-Star Ratings for staffing on demand.
- User-driven calculations: Enables users to choose their desired star rating and instructs them on the steps they need to take to achieve it.
- Support for multiple facilities: Displays the status of multiple facilities on one unified dashboard and enables users to drill down to each facility’s data.
- Responsive design: Allows users to access the tool in real-time on their mobile device.
- Proactive warning messages: Displays warning messages when a facility falls below required staffing levels based on real-time scheduling, attendance, and Payroll-Based Journal data.
“We’re proud to release SmartLinx Five-Star Predictor to help skilled nursing providers deliver high quality care and reach their optimum rating,” said SmartLinx CEO Marina Aslanyan. “In skilled nursing, being able to predict and remediate staffing shortages and achieve their desired Five-Star Rating is essential to achieving business and quality care goals.”
Read more from Marina Aslanyan about the importance of Five-Star Ratings in a piece on McKnight’s Long-Term Care, here.
Founded in 2000 SmartLinx cares for those who care. Used in thousands of leading organizations, the SmartLinx solutions suite helps skilled nursing and senior care providers manage people and processes by harnessing the power of real-time data. Its solutions suite includes talent acquisition and onboarding, human resources, benefits and payroll, time & attendance, scheduling, compliance, and business analytics. New financing options with preferred third-party commercial lender Ascentium Capital provide several flexible structures and low introductory payment options to help clients utilize the breadth of SmartLinx’s capabilities and products. The company is headquartered in Iselin, New Jersey.
For more information, please visit www.smartlinx.com or call 877-501-1310.