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WASHINGTON D.C. – In response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), issuing a proposed rule that seeks to establish comprehensive staffing requirements for nursing homes Nicole Jorwic, chief of advocacy and campaigns at Caring Across Generations, released the following statement:
“Today’s action by the Biden Administration to ensure adequate staffing in nursing homes all over the country is a recognition of the value of direct care workers in those settings, and the people who receive care there. Our inadequate care infrastructure and lack of investment in the workers that provide care has led to staffing shortages and other barriers for aging adults and disabled people seeking high-quality care in the setting of their choice.
“These first-ever minimum staffing standards are a historic move in improving the safety and well-being of people living and receiving care in nursing facilities. Through this proposed rule, the Biden Administration will also improve pay transparency for our care workers in all facility-based residential care settings to ensure good wages and quality, consistent, person-centered care that meets the needs of our population.
“This rule stems from the Biden Administration doing everything within their executive power to improve the care economy in this country because we all deserve a care system that treats us with dignity and respect. And from this rule, the 1.2 million people living in long-term care facilities will receive the care they need to survive and thrive.
“CMS’ inclusion of enhancing resident safety during emergencies is also critical —particularly given the rapidly increasing climate disasters and the disparate impact of COVID-19 on nursing home residents — since older adults and disabled people are often forgotten or left behind in emergencies.
“It is time we reduce the strain on our caregivers, and it is past time we make permanent investments to strengthen our country’s care infrastructure for our families, loved ones, the economy and our collective future.”
Caring Across Generations is a national organization of family caregivers, care workers, disabled people, and aging adults working to transform the way we care in this country so that care is accessible, affordable and equitable — and our systems of care enable everyone to live and age with dignity.
To achieve our vision, we transform cultural norms and narratives about aging, disability and care; win federal and state-level policies; and build power amongst the people touched by care. For more information, visit caringacross.org.