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MHCA Advocacy on Protecting Rural Seniors Access to Care Act to Halt CMS Min Staffing Rule

Maine Health Care Association is pleased to announce that both of Maine's Senators have signed on as co-sponsors of the Protecting Rural Seniors' Access to Care Act, which aims to stop the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from finalizing the minimum staffing proposal, along with requiring that a nursing home workforce advisory panel be created. The Senate bill is endorsed by more than 90 organizations including AHCA and MHCA. 
 
In addition to Senator Deb Fischer (R- Neb.) and Jon Tester (D-Montana) as original sponsors, the legislation is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Angus King (I-Maine) as noted in this Skilled Nursing News article.
 
MHCA President/ CEO Angela Westhoff comments, “We are extremely grateful for Senator Collins' and Senator King's support for the Protecting Rural Seniors Access to Care Act. Long term care is experiencing a severe staffing crisis and the CMS minimum staffing rule will only further exacerbate the work force shortage. Maine continues to experience a cascade of nursing facility closures that limit access to care for our state's older adults and individuals with disabilities. Two-thirds of our nursing homes would not be able to comply with this unfunded federal mandate. We appreciate Senators Collins' and King's steadfast leadership in sustaining access to long term care for Maine's most vulnerable populations.”

Many of the cosponsors have noted access to long term care as a main reason behind introducing the bill. In Maine, MHCA led the advocacy efforts with our coalition of partners including Maine Hospital Association, Maine Medical Association, Maine Osteopathic Association, Leading Age ME/NH, and the Maine Council on Aging. 
 
Read AHCA/NCAL's latest coverage here.
 
Staff contact: awesthoff@mehca.org