The American Hospital Association (AHA) and the American Health Care Association (AHCA), the largest associations representing America’s hospitals and nursing homes, respectively, sent a joint letter to Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), outlining concerns with a federal staffing mandate for nursing homes. CMS is planning to issue a federal staffing minimum for nursing homes this year.
In the letter, AHA and AHCA describe how the current labor shortage is forcing many nursing homes to limit admissions, which is having a ripple effect on the entire health care system. Hospital patients ready to be discharged to post-acute care are waiting days, weeks, or even months to find a spot at a skilled nursing facility. The two organizations warn that a federal staffing mandate for nursing homes would accelerate this access to care crisis for America’s seniors and exacerbate capacity issues for hospitals.
Rather than a one-size-fits-all mandate, AHA and AHCA are requesting that the Biden Administration and Congress focus on investing in recruitment and retention programs that will bolster the health care workforce. The letter includes several policy solutions.
Read the full letter here.