A federal nursing home staffing proposal already had elicited thousands of stakeholder comments by mid-October, with elected officials also slamming the mandate.

Sen. John Tester (D-MT) led 28 senators in sending a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, calling for the mandate’s withdrawal because it came at the “worst possible time.”

“A one-size-fits all staffing mandate significantly undermines access to care for patients, particularly in rural communities,” they wrote Sept. 29, the same day a House bill to stop the mandate was introduced.

Nursing home advocates continue to press owners and operators to share their concerns about implementing the rule with CMS. The American Health Care Association was aiming for 10,000 comments by Nov. 6. Officials must review and address each as part of the rule-making process. n