The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCANCAL) sent a letter to President Biden outlining specific quality improvement solutions the Biden Administration can implement that would help continue to improve resident care in nursing homes. The association argues that the policies would do more to advance quality care compared to a federal minimum staffing requirement, which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is expected to issue this year.
In the letter, AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson offers four policy proposals that would provide meaningful ways to improve quality care in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). The proposals include:
- Publicly Report Customer Satisfaction
- Build the Long-Term Care Workforce
- Improve the Special Focus Facility Program
- Enhance CMS’ SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program
The proposals outlined complement AHCA/NCAL’s comprehensive reform package, the Care For Our Seniors Act, which the association released more than two years ago to provide actionable solutions to improve quality care for the nation’s most vulnerable population.
“COVID-19 was an inflection point for our profession, and we believe in order to learn from this international tragedy, bold steps must be taken to improve the long-term care system,” says Parkinson. “However, meaningful change will not happen through unrealistic requirements and enforcement, but through collaboration and innovation.”
Rather than a blanket, unfunded staffing mandate that will be impossible to comply with and only worsen the current situation, Parkinson is requesting that the Biden Administration focus on supportive solutions, such as those outlined in the letter and the Care For Our Seniors Act.
This letter follows a separate letter AHCA/NCAL sent to President Biden earlier in July urging reconsideration of the federal staffing mandate.