Bi-Partisan Senate Bill Introduced to Amend CNA Training Lock-Out

Members | December 11, 2019 | by Marsha R. Greenfield

LeadingAge is pleased to announce our support for S. 2993, the Ensuring Seniors Access to Quality Care Act, introduced by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tim Scott (R-SC), amending the CNA lockout currently in law..

LeadingAge is pleased to announce our support for S. 2993, the Ensuring Seniors Access to Quality Care Act, introduced by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tim Scott (R-SC). This bill is similar to H.R. 4468, the Nursing Home Workforce Quality Act, in that both bills eliminate the automatic loss of certified nurse training authority for two years if a nursing home receives a certain level of civil money penalties. In both bills, the training authority is reinstated when the home comes back into complete compliance. And both bills direct CMS to monitor these nursing homes as needed. However, the Senate bill retains the two-year suspension if the CMP resulted in immediate jeopardy for direct patient harm or injury related to an abuse or neglect deficiency and the nursing home had deficiencies related to direct patient harm in the past two years.

“Workforce development is crucial to our members’ ability to provide top-notch care. The loss of nurse aide training authority is an obstacle to quality improvement for nursing homes, and particularly so when increased staffing levels are needed,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge. “We have for years advocated for changes to the training lock out mandated under the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. This legislation, like its counterpart in the House, offers a much-needed solution to help alleviate the severe workforce shortage in long term care. We applaud Senators Warner and Scott for their leadership in the Senate on this important issue.”

“LeadingAge Virginia and LeadingAge South Carolina applaud Senators Mark Warner and Tim Scott for introducing legislation that will enable training of certified nursing assistants (CNAs). Under federal law, nursing homes are inspected annually and fines assessed for any deficiencies in compliance with federal regulations. If these fines exceed a certain level, a nursing home automatically loses its authority to train CNAs for two years,” said Melissa Andrews, president and CEO of LeadingAge Virginia and Vicky Moody, CEO, LeadingAge South Carolina. “This ‘CNA Training Lockout’ runs counter to a nursing home’s ability to provide the highest quality of care and we appreciate the Senators’ introducing legislation to overcome this barrier.”

LeadingAge has advocated for eliminating the automatic two-year lock out for many years, arguing that the ability to recruit and train staff is critical to quality care, and loss of training should be narrowly restricted. We are encouraged by the bi-partisan support in both House and Senate. Please urge your member of Congress and Senators to cosponsor these bills.