Aging Services Leader Proposes Common Sense Requirements for Nursing Home Staffing Mandates
Contact: Lisa Sanders
January 30, 2023 Washington, DC — As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ release of proposed staffing mandates for nursing homes approaches, the national organization representing America’s nonprofit, mission-driven providers of aging services, including nursing homes, called for a commonsense approach to achieving the shared goal of quality nursing home care.
“For the first time in decades, our federal government is committed to meaningful action to ensure America’s older adults and families can receive quality nursing home care, which LeadingAge and our nonprofit, mission-driven nursing homes support. To get this done right, CMS and the Administration have got to get real on staffing ratios,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes.
Sloan urged CMS to acknowledge the context of nursing homes’ operating environment in its approach to any staffing requirement. Critical issues include: there are too few people to hire in nursing homes; the costs of delivering quality nursing home care far exceeds reimbursement; and a single staffing level cannot fit the needs of every resident in every nursing home across the country.
To better address those realities, LeadingAge today lays out for policymakers and other stakeholders common sense requirements that must be met before nursing home staffing ratios are considered in a six-point Get Real on Ratios proposal:
- The Medicaid fee for service nursing home rate covers at least 95% of the cost of care.
- States with Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports have a set benchmark rate equal to at least 95% of the cost of care.
- The secretaries of Labor and Health and Human Services have certified there is not a shortage of potential employees qualified to work in long-term care settings.
- Standards are flexible enough to meet the current needs of the residents being served.
- A national public health emergency is not in place.
- Staffing ratio mandates include waivers for local emergency conditions in place.
“LeadingAge stands ready to collaborate with Congress and the Administration on behalf of our members,” said Sloan. “We look forward to continuing the ongoing discussion of how to ensure quality nursing home care to older Americans and their families.”About LeadingAge:
We represent more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers and other mission-minded organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we use applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building to make America a better place to grow old. Our membership, which now includes the providers of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, encompasses the continuum of services for people as they age, including those with disabilities. We bring together the most inventive minds in the field to lead and innovate solutions that support older adults wherever they call home. For more information visit leadingage.org.
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