Maine Submits Over 150 Comments to CMS on Staffing Mandate

Monday (11/6) was the deadline for public comments on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) staffing proposal for the skilled nursing industry. CMS was flooded with over 40,000 from across the country as was noted in this Skilled Nursing News article.  
Maine Health Care Association partnered with the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) to track comments submitted from our state. “We are pleased that over 150 members of the long term care community took time to advocate against a one-size fits all approach to staffing that would ultimately cause many more nursing facilities to close,” comments Angela Westhoff, MHCA President and CEO.
The proposed rule calls for nursing homes to provide 0.55 hours of RN care per resident day and 2.45 hours of care from a nurse aide as well as a 24/7 RN requirement. Approximately 2/3 of Maine's nursing homes would not be able to comply with some part of this unfunded mandate. While all nursing homes are eager to hire more staff, the workers just simply aren't there. 
“An unfunded staffing mandate will not improve care nor address persistent staffing challenges,” writes AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson. “Without workforce development programs, staffing mandates do not create more caregivers, nor do they drive caregivers to work in long term care.”
To read AHCA/NCAL's comment letter to CMS click here.
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