CMS eyes ‘full sprint’ on minimum nursing home staffing rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid plan to establish minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes within a year, agency officials told industry representatives Thursday.

There is no timeline yet for all of the more than 20 other initiatives that President Joe Biden proposed during last week’s State of the Union address, officials said at a conference. telephone.

“We’re on a full sprint toward new regulations, new security guidelines, and new systems,” said Jonathan Blum, senior deputy administrator and chief operating officer of CMS.

The upcoming regulations would be part of the administration’s effort to improve conditions in nursing homes after more than 200,000 patients and workers in long-term care facilities died from COVID-19. Biden has announced plans to set minimum staffing requirements, create more transparency about facility ownership, tackle overcrowding, reduce overuse of antipsychotic drugs, and increase inspections and enforcement.

CMS will prioritize appropriate policies for “fast, short-term action” and identify longer-term goals among the president’s proposals, said Jean Moody-Williams, deputy director of CMS’s Center for Clinical Standards and Quality. .

The nursing home industry and other interested parties will have an opportunity to comment, said Will Harris, senior adviser to CMS administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure.

Groups representing the long-term care industry, such as the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, have expressed concern about the feasibility of nurse staffing rules and other Biden proposals. This week, the AHCA/NCAL wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra requesting a meeting with Biden and his top health officials.

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