Washington, D.C. - Representatives Michelle Fischbach (MN-07) and Greg Pence (IN-06) introduced a Congressional Review Act to overturn the Department of Health and Human Service's (HHS) mandatory nursing staff ratio rule.

"The HHS nursing staff mandate is a half-baked, one-size-fits-none plan that will not solve the nursing staff shortage and will hurt nursing home facilities all across Minnesota's Seventh District," said Rep. Fischbach. "This administration has been insistent on moving forward with this rule, despite the fact that a report commissioned by CMS itself found that there is no single staffing level that guarantees quality care. They also know that the new mandated ratio will force facilities to turn away patients or even close their doors altogether. I am committed to holding the government accountable and I am proud to introduce this CRA to overturn a potentially disastrous policy. I hope to work with HHS and stakeholders on policies that support recruitment and retention to solve the ongoing nursing shortage in this country."

“This rule could not come at a worse time. I regularly hear from my constituents about healthcare worker shortages, and a one-size-fits-all ‘solution’ will only exacerbate the problem. Since it was proposed, I have continuously urged the Biden administration to reconsider and think about the Americans whose access will be threatened. Clearly, implementing unworkable standards is short-sighted and negligent. We cannot let this stand," said Rep. Greg Pence.

“The final rule, while well-intentioned, will not achieve the sought-after goal of ensuring older adults’ and families’ ability to access quality nursing home care," said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes. "Two major issues – the ongoing workforce shortage and cost of recruiting, training and retaining staff – mean that implementation could very well have unintended consequences of further exacerbating existing challenges including limited admissions, fewer available beds and worse yet, nursing home closures, that are limiting care access. Mandates are the wrong approach. We thank Representative Fischbach for her leadership on this resolution.”

“We share the Administration’s goal to ensure that every senior receives safe, quality care, but the final CMS minimum staffing rule is misguided and out of touch with the reality we face," said Kari Thurlow, president and CEO, LeadingAge Minnesota. "Even though we are facing an RN shortage here in Minnesota and throughout the Nation until at least 2031, CMS seems to be trudging forward without a meaningful plan to address our workforce challenges. In fact, this new standard may even work against our shared mission to ensure seniors have safe, quality care, making accessing care more difficult than ever while simultaneously driving up the costs. We are grateful to Rep. Fishbach in her effort to introduce a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval to overturn the final rule so that we can go back to the drawing board to work collaboratively on workforce solutions.”

Background: The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a new rule requiring minimum staffing standards for long-term care facilities. This rule was issued despite the fact that a report commissioned by CMS itself expressed reservations about this rule. Most notably, this report said there was "no single staffing level that would guarantee quality care." Congresswoman Fischbach (MN-07) has been pushing back against this rule since it was first proposed by the administration.