After weeks of waiting, Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) officially introduced a bill aiming to block the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from implementing its proposed nursing home staffing mandate.

The Protecting Rural Seniors Access to Care Act, S. 3410, had been held up as Fischer sought bipartisan co-sponsors. As of publication deadline, it had 10 co-sponsors, including two Democrats and two Independents.

“Nursing homes across the country face historic staffing shortages,” Fischer said. “This mandate from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would force many facilities to reduce their number of patients or even close their doors for good. My legislation will stop this staffing rule and allow time to find a fairer solution that protects rural facilities across our state.”

Fischer’s bill mirrors one introduced in the House in late September. It would prohibit federal officials from finalizing the draft rule and convene a nursing home workforce advisory panel instead.