AHCA/NCAL Reacts to Expiration of Temporary Nurse Aide Waiver

​WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released a statement in reaction to the expiration of the nationwide waiver that allowed the employment of temporary nurse aides in nursing homes.

The statement is attributable to Holly Harmon, Senior Vice President of Quality, Regulatory & Clinical Services at AHCA/NCAL:

“We are deeply saddened that around the country, many temporary nurse aides will no longer be able to provide care to residents starting tomorrow because the federal government has failed to provide the necessary support. The Administration’s inaction to retain these valuable and experienced caregivers will only further deplete the available workforce in nursing homes.

“CMS waited until the last few days to approve virtually every statewide waiver request that came across their desk. The more sensible and streamlined approach would have been to reissue the blanket waiver nationwide. Moreover, these approved waivers will only last through the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency when we know state training and testing backlogs for certified nursing assistant applicants will extend well beyond that time. 

“We urge members of Congress to pass the Building America’s Health Care Workforce Act (H.R. 7744) to acknowledge the pivotal role of temporary nurse aides and the realities of helping them transition to permanent caregivers.”