AHCA/NCAL Reacts to CMS Ending COVID-19 Emergency Waivers

COVID-19; Workforce
​​WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and long term care facilities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released the following statement in reaction to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announcing the phase out of numerous temporary emergency declaration waivers for nursing homes that have been in effect during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. 

The statement is attributable to Holly Harmon, RN, senior vice president of Quality, Regulatory & Clinical Services for AHCA/NCAL. 

“This pandemic is far from over, and the long term care workforce crisis has never been more dire. Nursing homes have lost 241​,000 caregivers since the start of pandemic. Now is not the time to let crucial supports and flexibilities necessary to combat the virus end.  

“This is especially true for the temporary nurse aides who stepped up to serve our vulnerable seniors during this global crisis and are hoping to build a career in long term care. State capacities are not sufficient to accommodate the training and testing needs for thousands of temporary nurse aides in this short timeframe. We cannot lose these heroes in the midst of a historic labor shortage. These actions may further limit access to care for residents, as facilities may be forced to limit the number of residents they can serve due to staffing shortages.”  

Learn more about the essential role of temporary nurse aides during the pandemic and how Congress can help these caregivers become certified nursing assistants in AHCA/NCAL’s issue brief.  

AHCA/NCAL has urged ​the Administration to extend the Public Health Emergency beyond its current April 16, 2022 expiration and through the remainder of 2022.