AHCA joins lawmakers in drive for greater flexibility dealing with new requirements of participation

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AHCA's post urges providers to tell their representatives to sign the letters about revising nursing home requirements.
AHCA's post urges providers to tell their representatives to sign the letters about revising nursing home requirements.

The American Health Care Association is throwing its weight behind lawmakers' efforts to convince the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to revise the upcoming requirements of participation for long-term care providers.

In a notice posted Wednesday, AHCA called on House and Senate members to sign letters currently moving through both chambers. The letters urge CMS and the Department of Health and Human Services to rethink some of the provisions of the requirements (which were finalized last year) and give providers more time to comply. Phase II of the requirements take effect Nov. 28.

“Recent guidance on this rule issued June of this year is helpful but insufficient to allow providers the time to respond to the regulations,” the letter reads. It was spearheaded by Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) in the Senate and Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) in the House.

The letter also details the financial burden the requirements carry; CMS estimates put the cost of the rule at $62,900 per facility in its first year, followed by $55,000 in subsequent years. The lawmakers also raised concerns over some provisions of the rule, such as “duplicative” regulations that providers may already have in place. They also noted the “undue burden on providers” that mandating some staffing positions could cause.

“Our goal should be to provide our states greater flexibility so that our nursing homes may more effectively implement policies that focus on patient safety and quality outcomes,” the letter reads. “In order to make implementation less burdensome and costly to our long-term care providers, we respectfully request that [CMS] reevaluate this regulation.”

AHCA called on providers that have a relationship with their local member of Congress to request that they sign the letter, which will be delivered CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

“While many of the provisions in the rule mean well, it ultimately represents a doubling-down on heavy-handed regulation that shifts resources away from the bedside and toward paper compliance,” AHCA said.