Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Legislation Introduced to Address CNA Training Program Lock-Outs

Drew Thies

A new bill introduced in the House of Representatives seeks to alleviate the shortage of health care workers by allowing more skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to train certified nursing assistants (CNAs). The legislation, introduced by Rep. Sean Duffy (R.-Wis.), amends rigid requirements that force SNFs to shut down their CNA training programs for infractions unrelated to care delivery.

The “Nursing Home Workforce Quality Act” modifies the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA) to give CMS greater flexibility in reinstating providers’ training programs. Currently, any infraction that results in a fine of more than $10,000 results in an automatic, two-year suspension of CNA training programs.

The legislation also states that once a deficiency has been remedied, training programs can resume.

SNFs provide CNA training programs for free to combat health care workforce shortages. These are often the only free services of this nature.

CNAs provide for the daily care needs of the 1.3 million frail and elderly Americans receiving SNF care on any given day. Nearly 20% of SNFs nationwide have developed a nurse aide training program.

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