Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition Urges CMS to Withdraw Proposed Minimum Staffing Standards for Long-term Care Facilities

DATE: November 8, 2023

The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC), the leading national voice for the long-term care pharmacy community, is urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reconsider its proposed minimum staffing standards for long-term care (LTC) facilities.

In a public comment submitted to CMS on November 6, 2023, SCPC shared its concerns that the harmful proposal would limit access to nursing facility care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, undermine overall quality of care and services for long-term care facility residents, and threaten the financial viability of LTC facilities as well as LTC pharmacies.

SCPC offered four reasons for its opposition to the proposal:

1)    There is an inadequate available workforce to meet the proposed staffing requirements.
2)    Medicaid reimbursement is inadequate to meet the proposed staffing requirements.
3)    It is insufficiently flexible and unduly complex when overlaid on existing state nurse staffing requirements.
4)    It will result in countervailing unintended consequences that will undermine overall quality of care for residents in LTC facilities and threaten the economic viability for significant subsets of the LTC facility and LTC pharmacy markets.

“Despite its good intentions, the CMS proposal is simply not viable and would not accomplish what it’s setting out to do. Instead, this harmful staffing mandate would cause a significant ripple effect of problems, not just for long-term care pharmacies and the long-term care sector but across the entire healthcare industry. Ultimately, the mandate would undermine patient care rather than bolstering it as intended,” said Alan Rosenbloom, President and CEO of the Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition. “SCPC is one of many voices urging CMS officials to reconsider the staffing mandate and develop more feasible solutions to improving quality of care for the many Americans who rely on long-term care.”

SCPC’s full comment submitted to CMS can be found here.

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