LeadingAge Joins as New Co-Plaintiff in Lawsuit to Overturn CMS Nursing Home Staffing Mandate

LeadingAge officially became a co-plaintiff with the American Health Care Association (AHCA) in a lawsuit to dismiss the government’s staffing mandate for nursing homes. 

The association in early June decided to file to join AHCA’s lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) during a press event on Capitol Hill, prior to officially becoming a co-plaintiff.

“We oppose this mandate because it does not acknowledge the interdependence of funding, care, staffing, and quality; it will, without question, impact the ability of our nursing home members, as well as those in other care settings, including home health and hospice, to provide care and services,” Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, said in a statement.


Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), said the association is pleased that LeadingAge has joined the fight against the federal mandate. It unites for-profit and nonprofit associations to overturn the rule.

“The entire profession is completely united against this rule,” Parkinson said in a statement. “No matter the location, size, or profile, every nursing home wants to hire more workers, but these impossible standards do nothing to help their recruitment efforts or solve the growing caregiver shortage.”

LeadingAge represents more than 5,400 nonprofit aging service providers and other mission-driven organizations.


Joining the lawsuit as co-plaintiff is part of the association’s commitment to use every tool available to address building the long-term care workforce and stop implementation of the final rule, Smith Sloan said.

“Our nonprofit and mission-driven members, many of whom have served their communities for decades, caring for older adults and families over generations, know deeply the essence of caregiving,” added Smith Sloan. “That’s why, at the outset of the Biden Administration’s first mention of possible mandates back in 2022, we made our position clear: we fully share the goal of ensuring quality care and our country’s current long-term care infrastructure cannot sustain staffing mandates until they are supported by adequate funding and available staff.”

The Biden administration’s “wrongheaded approach” won’t achieve a shared goal of ensuring quality care, not without adequate funding and available staff, she said.

The lawsuit was filed on May 23, and plaintiffs argue the federal agencies exceeded statutory authority in issuing the minimum staffing rule for nursing homes.