The American Health Care Association and LeadingAge have united to propose a registered nurse staffing requirement and enhanced Medicaid funding under a set of new reform measures aimed at improving long-term care. 

The leading industry groups in mid-March unveiled a $15 billion legislative package targeting systemic issues in the nursing home sector — many of them worsened by the pandemic. It called for requiring nursing homes to have a registered nurse on staff 24 hours a day; a minimum, 30-day supply of personal protective equipment; and enhanced infection control preventionist resources. 

The plan also highlighted the need for an enhanced survey system that focuses on improvement rather than punishment. 

To pay for the reform measures, the groups proposed four interrelated investment strategies, which include enhancing the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, establishing federal guidelines for state allowable or reasonable cost definitions, and requiring states to set Medicaid rates to match the cost of care.