Nina Kohn Sounds Alarm on Reduced Staffing Requirements and Extended COVID Liability Immunity for Nursing Homes

Nina Kohn (’03), Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Online Education, Syracuse University College of Law, was quoted in Sludge discussing Florida’s extended COVID-related liability shield and reduction in staffing requirements impacting nursing home residents (“Florida GOP Deregulates Nursing Homes,” June 6). “Research shows that both staffing levels and the availability of skilled nursing staff are important predictors of the quality of care that nursing home residents receive. Florida’s new law reduces the number of hours of certified nursing staff time that facilities must provide to residents each day. This opens the door to nursing homes substituting trained staff for essentially unskilled labor. That is dangerous for residents and a clear step in the wrong direction. . . . Even before this new legislation, Florida required less direct care staff than experts generally agree is necessary to avoid systemic neglect. Allowing even lower levels of trained nursing staff endangers residents, who rely on staff to meet their basic needs.”