Report on Nursing Home Staff Shortages Surfaces

Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) has obtained a copy of a draft federal study that shows 'strong and compelling' evidence that nine out of ten U.S. nursing homes are understaffed.

The draft report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, titled "Appropriateness of Minimum Nurse Staffing Ratios in Nursing Homes, Report to Congress: Phase II," found that in 2000 more than 91 percent of nursing homes had nurse aide staffing levels below the thresholds required to provide adequate care. (See ElderLawAnswers news article, 'Nursing Homes Woefully Understaffed, Study Finds'.) According to the report, nursing homes should have one nurse's aide for every five or six residents from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. It is now common for nursing homes to have one aide for every 8 to 14 residents.

A copy of the report can be found at: