WASHINGTON D.C.- Congressman Marshall recently signed on to H.R. 698, the Nursing Home Workforce Quality Act, a bipartisan bill aimed at improving our Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) workforce. This legislation rolls back outdated regulations that have kept skilled nursing facilities, especially in rural America, from training CNAs and further impairing the already lacking workforce. As the law currently stands, any skilled nursing facility that has received civil penalties totaling over $10,000 in fines is banned from doing CNA training for two years, whether or not those penalties had any relevance to the CNA program itself.
“Burdensome, outdated regulations are a practice of the past, this Congress and administration is dedicated to rolling back the red tape,” Rep. Marshall said. “It is imperative that we are not penalizing our workforce and our nursing facilities’ patients in rural America due to irrelevant issues.
The Prairie Wind Villa Assisted Living/Phillips County Retirement Center in Phillipsburg, Kansas has experienced the negative impact of these regulations firsthand when they received a citation for failing to update their door codes. Even though this violation had nothing to do with the CNA program, Prairie Wind was banned from CNA training for two years.
“H.R. 6986 will fix an outdated federal law that blocks nursing homes from training and recruiting new nurse aide staff to improve their quality of care,” The Prairie Wind Villa Assisted Living/Phillips County Retirement Center Administrator, Nate Glendening said. “Our nursing home fell under this ban for two years, costing us potential workers in our community, and narrowing opportunities to better serve our residents. Passage of H.R. 6986 will help a lot of nursing homes improve care, and reverse federal requirements that cause real harm to rural health care providers and their communities.”
Leading Age and the American Health Care Association, two of the nation’s largest skilled nursing facility associations, support this legislation. HR 6986 will not interfere with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service and the state’s ability to enforce other regulations that ensure the health and safety of the facility residents.
“While it is imperative that all skilled nursing facilities are held to a high standard, HR 6986 will establish updated, relevant regulations that will ensure both the safety of these facilities and an adequate CNA workforce for our loved ones,” Rep. Marshall said.