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U.S. Representative Collin Peterson Introduces Bipartisan Workforce Quality Act

A bipartisan bill to modify the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training lock-out that is currently mandated in law was introduced this week by U.S. Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN) and U.S. Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI). The bill eliminates the statute’s rigid provisions and grants CMS greater flexibility in reinstating providers’ valuable CNA training programs.  

“Nursing homes and other long-term care providers are grappling with a severe workforce shortage. The ability to train CNAs is crucial to building and maintaining a pipeline of qualified staff,” said Katie Smith Sloan, President and CEO, LeadingAge. 

Under current law, nursing homes assessed civil monetary penalties above a certain level on their annual survey automatically lose their authority to train staff to be CNAs for two years. The suspension is required even if the fines are unrelated to the quality of care given to residents or if the care deficiencies cited on the survey are unrelated to the nursing home’s CNA training program. CNAs, who provide direct care to residents, are critical members of every nursing home’s care team.

Eliminating training programs for front-line staff threatens the quality of care. This bill will help providers, particularly in Greater Minnesota, and regulators be more responsive to the needs of residents and providers.

LeadingAge Minnesota members who will be participating in the Leadership Summit in Washington, DC next month should anticipate discussing this issue with our congressional delegation. In the meantime, stay tuned for advocacy updates on steps you can take to urge our U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative to co-sponsor this important legislation.

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