On September 1, the Biden Administration officially published for public comment a proposed rule that would mandate minimum staffing levels at skilled nursing facilities. A 60-day comment period began September 6 and will end with all comments due on November 6.
Lutheran Services in America will be submitting comments sharing our concerns about the proposed new requirement and helping you do the same. We are currently analyzing the full rule and what it means for our network, but our initial concerns include the 24/7 RN requirement, only allowing time-limited hardship exemption waivers, and lack of funding for implementing mandated staffing increases.
Since early 2022 when the Administration originally announced their intent to mandate minimum staffing levels, we have heard from many of you that the uniform application of this new requirement, on top of the enduring workforce shortage in direct care, will result in reduced access to long-term care for older adults in rural and underserved communities as providers continue to struggle to fill staffing vacancies. We have worked diligently to ensure that the concerns of our network are heard and incorporated into the new rule, including meetings with key senators, the White House Domestic Policy Council, and CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure.
Our collective voice is powerful, and we look forward to continuing to bring its impact to bear on this rule.
Sarah Dobson is the Senior Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at Lutheran Services in America.