A recent report by the California Department of Public Health to the Legislature provides a disturbing new look at understaffing in California’s nursing homes. It examined staffing levels during three fiscal years from 2002-03 to 2004-05 to determine whether nursing homes provided at least 3.2 hours of nursing care per resident day as required by a 1999 law. The study found that freestanding skilled nursing facilities were understaffed on 54 percent of days in 02-03, 40 percent of days in 03-04, and 35 percent of days in 04-05. Thus, five years after the Legislature established and funded the current minimum staffing requirements, nursing homes lacked sufficient staff on more than 1 of every 3 days.
Click here for a copy of the report to the Legislature.