HR 8244 would allow nursing facilities to continue training CNAs even if they received a fine above the threshold limit

WASHINGTON—Following the mark up of the revised Ensuring Seniors' Access to Quality Act (HR 8244) by the House Ways and Means Committee on May 8, Katie Smith Sloat, president and CEO of LeadingAge released the following statement.

“Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are essential members of every nursing home’s care team. This important legislation provides a much-needed change to the current statute that prevents nursing homes from conducting in-house CNA training programs for a two-year period if they are assessed civil monetary penalties above the $12,924 threshold – a required suspension even if the fines are unrelated to the quality of care given to residents.

This bill would allow nursing facilities to continue training CNAs even if they have received a fine above the threshold limit provided the citations do not involve quality of care issues.

The need for this modification is particularly urgent now, following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ April 22 announcement of the final nursing home minimum staffing rule. By our calculations, at least 78,000 additional full-time nurse aides will be needed in nursing homes nationwide to comply with the new requirements.

LeadingAge is leveraging every possible policy opportunity to build the long-term care workforce. Our mission-driven nonprofit members value onsite training programs not only for the solid educational foundation they provide to nurse aide students, but also because their location allows for hands-on experience working with residents and staff – truly a win-win.

We thank Representatives Estes and Connolly for their continued leadership on this issue and remain eager to work with them to see this bill passed into law. It is just one step of many that must be taken to advance toward our goal of increasing the aging services workforce.”