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This paper estimates the impact of minimum staffing requirements on the nursing home market using a unique national panel over the 1996-2005 period. This paper reveals that, given a half-hour increase in the minimum nursing hours per resident day for licensed nurses, quality of patient care increases by 25 percent. This quality-increasing effect is mainly driven by low-quality nursing homes increasing their quality of care to meet the new standards. By contrast, minimum staffing requirements for direct-care nurses do not have any significant impact on quality.
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