Long term care workers urge President to meet over inaccuracies in agenda

Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 2:12 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Long-term care workers have urged President Joe Biden to meet with them over inaccuracies in his nursing home reform agenda.

The American Health Care Association says it has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday, March 8, to request a meeting with the White House, HHS, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

AHCA said it wants to clarify some inaccuracies which informed President Joe Biden’s nursing home reform agenda released last week.

“It is also important that providers share the critical challenges they face in recruiting and retaining health care workers and other critical personnel,” AHCA said in the letter. “We have lost hundreds of thousands of workers since the beginning of the pandemic, and it is not clear that we can get them back, let alone add minimum staffing standards, without significant support from federal policymakers.”

The Association said it hopes to set the record straight about the quality of nursing home care, which has increased over the past decade. It said the improvement is specifically thanks to initiatives where federal regulators and providers work together.

According to AHCA, the rhetoric around the announcement was disappointing and demoralizing to an already beaten-down health care sector.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, AHCA said nursing homes were not prioritized by public health officials for resources and the lack of a coordinated federal response. The move enabled high spread in the general population, which ultimately lead to outbreaks in nursing homes.

AHCA said Biden’s plan does not address the chronic underfunding of Medicaid or offer meaningful support to aid providers meeting increased requirements.

Until policymakers properly invest in long-term care, AHCA said nursing homes will continue to struggle and more facilities will have to close their doors.

To read the full letter, click HERE.

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