Cliff Grassmick Daily Camera
Physical therapist Matt Nape works with Shirley Robba during an Aug. 21 physical therapy session at Flatirons Health and Rehab Center in Louisville.
Finding a facility for either long-term care for an aging loved one or short-term rehabilitation following a surgery or an injury can be a daunting task. While a number of factors come into play when choosing where to go for care, experts say staffing is chief among them.
Research shows staffing is one of the most important factors in quality care at nursing homes, but some experts say state and federal staffing requirements don’t meet the minimum standards that a 2001 study, along with subsequent research, determined necessary for basic quality care.
In Boulder County, most long-term care facilities surpass state staffing requirements, as well as state and federal averages for the number of direct nursing staff care hours per patient each day, known as patient per day, or PPD.
Still, most don’t meet the minimum staffing recommendation from a 2001 study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and later presented to Congress. New payroll data from Medicare also reveals inconsistent staffing levels at facilities across the country and, to a lesser degree, at some facilities in Boulder County.