Tester on Biden Administration Nursing Home Rule: “One-size-fits-all mandates won’t work for Montana”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today issued the following statement reiterating his longstanding concerns after the Biden Administration finalized on Monday the first-ever minimum staffing mandate for nursing homes:

“I have repeatedly made it clear to President Biden and his Administration that one-size-fits-all mandates won’t work for Montana, and I have serious concerns that this burdensome staffing requirement will be unworkable for rural nursing homes. Long-term care facilities across Montana are already facing severe workforce shortage issues and rural seniors are struggling to access the care they need. While well-intentioned, I believe this federal staffing mandate could cause facilities to shut their doors and fails to address the concerns I have heard from local providers and Montanans.”

Tester has led the charge to block the Biden Administration’s staffing mandate and ensure Montana seniors have access to quality long-term care. Tester introduced his bipartisan Protecting Rural Seniors Access to Care Act to prohibit the finalization of this same rule. 

In September, Tester led a bipartisan letter demanding the Biden Administration abandon their proposed Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) staffing rule, arguing that he is “deeply concerned that now is the worst possible time for the United States to establish the nation’s first federal staffing mandate for long-term care facilities.” He also wrote to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure in June to express concerns about the Administration’s intent to issue staffing mandates for nursing homes. Tester also sent a letter calling on Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough to evaluate the impact of this proposed rule on veterans’ access to long-term care, especially in rural areas, and work to ensure their access.

In recent years, staffing issues and nursing home closures have limited access to senior care in rural communities. Since 2021, Montana has seen the closure of 11 nursing homes, and in 2022 alone, the state lost more than 850 nursing home beds, according to the Montana Health Care Association.


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