A bill to end the mandatory Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) training lockout for skilled nursing facilities was introduced Sept. 28 by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI). LeadingAge and the American Healthcare Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) worked together with their members on this important initiative to support nursing home’s efforts to address the severe workforce shortage and support the CNA training programs in order to provide the highest quality of care to older adults.
The Nursing Home Workforce Quality Act (H.R. 6986) would do two main things:
- End the mandatory CNA training lockout. Rather than an arbitrary 2-year penalty, CMS and the states would have the discretion to impose a lockout under certain conditions.
- Perhaps more importantly, any imposed lockout would end once the deficiencies cited are remedied.
This bill is very important to nursing facilities in rural South Dakota because of the financial hardship the lockout places on providers when they have to pay travel expenses to send CNAs to other locations for training and hire temporary staff to ensure all shifts are covered. CNAs are often the principal caregiver in nursing homes and eliminating training programs for vital front-line staff threatens the quality of care that is provided to residents.
The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) participated in several phone calls and meetings with LeadingAge to support this new legislation on behalf of members. SDAHO will continue to monitor this bill as it gains momentum and support, in the meantime, you can contact your lawmakers today to ask them to cosponsor this piece of legislation.