The following comments were submitted by Carole Herman, President of Foundation Aiding the Elderly (FATE)
Regarding the 3.5 direct care hours:
- I do not agree that direct caregiver hours should include nursing assistants who are in a training program or any other student training for a nursing credential… The facilities do not pay these students and the students should not be included in the direct care hours since they are not licensed to do the work. Why was this changed from CNA’s to include students?
- Please explain what the $224,000 allocated to establish new ratio requirements entails…
- There should be NO WAIVER AUTHORITY of nursing hours…. Facilities have access to Registries that will provide staff in the event of a shortage…In no event, should the facility have the discretion to seek a waiver…..and how will the department determine the accuracy of such a waiver?
- The FATE lawsuit back in 2009 established the increased nursing hours; however, it was never implemented because DPH never sought the funding. DPH needs to seek the funds and ensure that the funds will be used for increased staffing hours and not for the pockets of the operators as it has in the past.
- Will there be an increase in DPH staff to ensure that the staffing hours are indeed being met? My work has found that the HFEN are no looking at payroll records, which DPH L&C put into P&P after the FATE lawsuit. And, if a complaint comes into DPH alleging insufficient staffing, I have found that the Department looks at the last survey paperwork to see if staffing was an issue rather than to look at payroll records for the time period that is alleged there was insufficient staffing.
Since there was minimal information given at the meeting, there needs to be more information received from the department in order to offer any more points of view, suggestions, etc.
Foundation Aiding the Elderly (FATE)