Currently, when skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are assessed civil monetary penalties exceeding roughly $10,000 on their annual survey, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services automatically suspends their authority to train Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) for two years. The suspension is required even if the fines are unrelated to the quality of care given to residents or to CNA training program deficiencies. Additionally, training cannot be reinstated before the two-year period ends even if a provider fixes the problem for which it is fined.
The Nursing Home Workforce Quality Act (H.R. 6986) would change the mandatory training lockout, linking it instead to facilities that are cited by CMS for a substandard quality of resident care. The bill was recently introduced and may be taken up for a vote in Congress during the “lame duck” session after the election if it receives enough support by then.
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CNAs, who provide direct care to residents, are critical members of every SNF’s care team, and especially in rural areas, the individual SNF may be the only CNA training program nearby. The inability to train new staff only adds to the existing healthcare workforce shortage: the training lockout must be ended now.
Need more information? Please contact Sarah Dobson, Director of Public Policy & Advocacy at email@example.com or (202) 499-5831