Federal legislation was reintroduced on Monday to effectively remove a barrier to educating certified practical nurses (CNAs) for the nursing home sector, at a time when the industry is facing a historic staffing crisis.
Under the law on access of the elderly to quality care, originally introduced by the senses. Mark Warner of Virginia and Tim Scott of South Carolina in December 2019, operators could reinstate CNA training programs if relevant deficiencies cited in an investigation are corrected.
The bill repeals a two-year training “lockout” for internal ANC training if an operator were hit with a Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) above a certain amount.
Operators would need to prove that the deficiencies did not result in an immediate risk to resident safety or result from harm to residents caused by abuse or neglect in order to continue CNA education programs at that facility, according The law project.
Care homes should also not have received a repeat deficiency related to harm to residents in the past two years.
The proposed bill would also allow nursing homes access to disciplinary information of affiliated physicians and health care practitioners, as reported by the National Practitioner Data Bank by state authorities.
This aspect of the bill helps operators vet potential employees more thoroughly, a statement said. Posted by Senator Warner’s office – the data bank is a criminal background check system.
The two-year “lockout” is counter-intuitive to delivering the highest quality care, LeadingAge officials say. The national trade organization represents more than 5,000 nonprofit aging service providers.
“Our nation’s long-term care system is facing a severe labor shortage that has only intensified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge in a statement. “CNAs provide essential care in nursing homes nationwide, and we need strong training programs to ensure seniors can access much-needed care 24/7.”
Sloan said every possible lever must be pulled to bolster the direct care workforce at a time when the sector is experiencing historic labor shortages.
Researchers at PHI found the country’s long-term care sector will need 8.2 million direct care jobs between 2018 and 2028, while existing caregivers leave the field or workforce altogether.
Several nursing homes have had to limit admissions due to labor shortages.
American Health Care Association President and CEO Mark Parkinson congratulated Sens. Warner and Scott for reintroducing the legislation “at this critical time for long-term care staff.”
“In the midst of a historic labor crisis, we need solutions such as the law guaranteeing seniors’ access to quality care to help veterinary care homes and train much-needed caregivers,” Parkinson said in a statement. “By enabling facilities to offer CNA training programs and access the national database of practitioners, we can ensure that our country’s seniors receive high-quality care from highly skilled caregivers. skilled and dedicated.
Such legislation would “better equip” operators to train caregivers and increase the overall labor pool, David Buckshorn, CEO and president of LeadingAge South Carolina, said in a press release.