Advocates for Georgia's Elderly Since 1953


New Analysis Finds 3,500 Additional Nurses and Nurses' Aides Needed for GA Nursing Homes to Meet Federal Staffing Mandate, Cost $218.5M Per Year

For Immediate Release
May 9, 2024
The Georgia Health Care Association (GHCA) released an analysis today using data from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) that analyzed the impact of the federal staffing mandate on nursing homes that was issued in April. The final rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires every nursing home to deliver a minimum of 3.48 total nursing staff hours per resident per day (HPRD), including 2.45 hours from nurse aides and 0.55 hours from registered nurses (RN). Additionally, nursing homes will be required to have an RN on site 24 hours per day.
The final rule, which does not include any resources or funding to build a pipeline of caregivers amid an ongoing workforce crisis, will have a greater negative impact than the proposed version of the rule and threatens the viability of nursing homes to continue to meet the needs of Georgia seniors.
Findings include:
  • Georgia nursing homes would need to hire an estimated 3,500 additional full-time employees (2,516 nurse aides and 977 RNs).
  • The final mandate would cost Georgia nursing homes approximately $218.5 million per year.
  • 47% percent of Georgia nursing homes are currently not meeting at least one of the four staffing requirements: the 3.48 Total HPRD, the 0.55 RN HPRD, the 2.45 CNA HPRD, and the 24/7 RN.
  • Less than 1% of nursing homes in the state meet all 4 requirements.
  • If nursing homes are unable to increase their workforce to meet the requirements under the final rule, more than 10,702 nursing home residents could be impacted by census reductions.
“This new analysis underscores that Washington bureaucrats don't understand the real world impact this unfunded mandate will have on Georgia's seniors,” said GHCA President & CEO Chris Downing. “With 10,702 vulnerable seniors at risk of being displaced from their nursing homes, it's unfathomable that the federal government would finalize this unrealistic, one-size-fits-all requirement.”
Access to long term care is already tightening in Georgia, and many homes have had to limit admissions or close full wings due to the state's caregiver shortages, particularly in the area of nursing. Georgia has some of the lowest employed RN to population ratios in the country, and nursing homes are forced to compete with hospitals and other healthcare settings for a dwindling pool of nurses. When nursing homes are forced to reduce their capacity, residents are left with fewer options and longer waiting times for care. The federal staffing mandate would exacerbate this alarming trend and put a strain on the entire healthcare continuum.  
“Nursing homes are actively trying to hire, but Georgia simply doesn't have enough nurses and nurse aides to meet demand. We need supportive measures that will effectively help us get more caregivers through the door, not blanket mandates from Washington. We urge Members of Congress to intervene and advance the bipartisan Protecting America's Seniors' Access to Care Act, which would block this unfunded and flawed mandate. We will continue to do everything we can to safeguard access to care for Georgia's seniors,” concluded Downing.
To see the full analysis, go the State Summary section here.
For further information please contact:
Devon Barill, Director of Communications
Georgia Health Care Association 
(678) 783-1703