Legislation to Block CMS’ Nursing Home Staffing Mandate Gaining Steam Among Senators

Companion legislation to block the nursing home minimum staffing proposal is due to be introduced next week by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) – more co-sponsors are anticipated, delaying the bill’s introduction to some time next week.

That’s according to Sen. Fischer’s office. It’s a good delay to have, a spokesperson said in an email to Skilled Nursing News. The increased co-sponsor interest means that the legislation is gaining momentum. The upcoming legislation will coincide with H.R. 5796, Protecting Rural Seniors’ Access to Care Act.

Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-MN) originally introduced the House bill in October, which aims to stop the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from finalizing the proposal – and instead require a nursing home workforce advisory panel be created.


Sen. Fischer alluded to companion legislation in an editorial earlier this month, along with mentioning her involvement in sending a letter to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure opposing the minimum staffing mandate. Fischer and the rest of the Nebraska delegation never received a response, she said.

“I plan to introduce legislation that would prevent these misguided standards from going into effect,” Fischer said in the editorial, which was published by the Star Herald. “My legislation also would establish an advisory panel on the nursing home workforce made up of 15 members representing various stakeholders — including members from rural and underserved areas.”

Fischer has been outspoken about the Biden administration’s “misguided mandate,” especially as it disproportionately affects rural communities with alternatives few and far between in parts of rural states like Nebraska.


The Center for Rural Affairs found that 64 of the state’s 93 counties are at least partially in a primary care health professional shortage area, she said. In 80% of Nebraska counties, the number of registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) per capita is lower than the national average.

“The Biden administration must hear from voices outside the big cities on the coasts. This proposed rule is a one-size-fits-all solution that simply doesn’t fit,” Fischer added in her editorial.

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