Senator King Pens Second Letter to CMS to Ask it Withhold Burdensome Staffing Mandate, Need Permanent Workforce Solutions

In addition to the letter Senator Collins, Senator King, and others signed in opposition to the proposed unfunded mandate earlier this month, Senator King joins Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) in a second letter, asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to find workable solutions for staffing shortages at long-term care facilities across the country. 

In a letter to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-Lasure, the senators ask CMS to withhold from establishing staffing mandates for long-term care facilities and instead work with Congress on flexible, commonsense solutions. Strict federal staffing proposals would be detrimental to many VA facilities across the country that would be unable to meet the minimum staffing requirements to remain open.

The CMS rule being considered would establish minimum staffing requirements for long-term care facilities as part of the Biden-Harris Administration's Nursing Home Reform initiative. According to the latest polling, 80% of nursing facilities across the country would be unable to meet the minimum requirements to remain open if the rule is enacted.

“Fundamentally, we must address the pipeline of health care workers moving into the industry. The potential of prolonged staffing shortages across the healthcare sector must be taken into account. A recent article published by KFF that examined the impact of CMS' proposed rule found that, “… among all nursing facilities, fewer than 1 in 5 could currently meet the required number of hours for registered nurses and nurse aides.” Given the broad impact of CMS' proposed rule for facilities across the country, we are concerned the policy will further inhibit veterans' access to long-term care services if the workforce dynamics aren't drastically improved by the proposed implementation dates,” the senators said.

Earlier this year, the senators took part in SVAC hearing where they questioned Jonathan Blum from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services about this push for minimum standards across the VA even if it results in the closing of facilities.

Click here to read the letter.

MHCA, AHCA, and long term care members have been regularly communicating with Senator King and his staff to ensure they are well informed and understand how harmful this proposed rule would be to our industry. Advocacy efforts on the minimum staffing rule continue. MHCA encourages all members to submit comments by the November 6th deadline. To submit comments click here OR visit and click on the red “Take Action Now!” banner.

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