House Advances Legislation To Block Nursing Home Federal Staffing Proposal 

Legislation to block the federal minimum staffing proposal for nursing homes reached a milestone today, passing in the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.

The Protecting America’s Seniors’ Access to Care Act (H.R. 7513) was first introduced by Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-MN) and would prevent the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from finalizing the proposal. There’s a companion bill in the Senate.

Clif Porter, senior vice president of government relations at the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) applauded members of the committee for prioritizing the nation’s seniors and advancing the legislation.


“The blanket, unfunded mandate that CMS intends to impose on nursing homes will be detrimental to our most vulnerable citizens, especially in our rural and underserved communities,” Porter said in a statement. “This rule will do nothing to improve quality or grow our workforce, but instead displace hundreds of thousands of residents.”

AHCA/NCAL is eager to work with members of Congress and the Biden administration on more constructive policies and programs to help nursing homes recruit and retain staff, he said.

Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, sent a letter to the Committee ahead of the decision, urging support from members of Congress.


“Federal action on staffing mandates must be realistic to achieve its intended effect and should be paired with historic workforce investments and fair reimbursement rates,” Smith Sloan said in the letter.

The legislation was co-sponsored by 35 members of Congress. Meanwhile, AHCA/NCAL led a coalition of more than 1,000 organizations urging support for the legislation with the help of other national associations like LeadingAge.

Another piece of legislation, this time put forth by Senators Angus King (I-ME), Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and members of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct a study on the risks of the proposed rule issued by CMS.

Maine alone has faced 23 facility closures in the past decade, and another this past week, according to a statement from AHCA/NCAL.

“It is one thing to create a policy that looks good on paper, but it is quite another to examine the effects that policy has on the day-to-day lives of Maine veterans,” Sen. King said in a statement. “This bill will allow us to take a closer look at the impact that the proposed CMS rule would have on VA and VA affiliated nursing homes so we can best protect access to long-term care options for veterans in Maine.”

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