Assisted Living Homes Send Warning About Build Back Better Act
It's called the Build Back Better Act and it's a big concern for the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living.
Officials say the plans provisions are simply too expensive
They say two provisions in the act will have a big impact on nursing homes and could force thousands more facilities to further limit admissions or possibly close their doors. The associations represent 14,000 nursing homes and long term care facilities across the country and in Yakima that provide care to about five million people each year. Officials say one of the provisions would require nursing homes to have a registered nurse "on-staff 24 hours a day and another that would require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a study on minimum staffing ratios and implement the regulations within one year."
The provisions could force even more layoffs
Officials from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living say that could potentially cost billions of dollars and require the homes to hire some 150,000 new caregivers. AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson says “We strongly support having a RN on staff in nursing homes 24 hours a day, as we originally proposed in our reform agenda earlier this year. However, current data shows that the nursing homes are facing the worst job loss among all health care providers. We’ve lost 221,000 jobs since the beginning of the pandemic, and recovery is a long way away. Nursing home providers are doing all they can to attract and retain new workers, but the applicants simply aren’t there. The provisions in this bill do nothing to help us strengthen our workforce and will only force thousands of nursing homes to further limit the number of residents they can serve,”
The cost estimates are overwhelming say officials
"AHCA/NCAL estimates that if the HHS study found that nursing homes need to increase clinical and direct care staff by 25 percent, it would require hiring more than 150,000 RNs, licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs), costing $10.7 billion per year.
Current requirements mandate that nursing homes have a RN on staff eight hours a day. Under the proposed mandate in the legislation, AHCA/NCAL estimates it would require hiring 21,000 more nurses, costing $2.5 billion a year."