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Biden Administration Announces End to Public Health Emergency

February 01, 2023

The Biden Administration has announced an end to the Public Health Emergency (PHE). This announcement means that all outstanding waivers granted to nursing homes from certain regulatory requirements will end on May 11, 2023. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) waived a variety of regulatory requirements that nursing homes had to comply with, including the reporting of important data and training requirements for certified nurse aides (CNAs). While most of those waivers have been rescinded, CMS has continued to allow some states to employ untrained nurses aides. CMS has allowed this practice despite admitting that "Poor quality of care, such as improper transfers, turning and positioning, poor incontinent/skin care, or weight loss related to poor assistive dining techniques could be related to inadequate training, as these skills are required components of NATCEP programs." (QSO-22-15-NH)

Consumer Voice and other advocates have been advocating for the recission of this waiver for roughly two years.  The policy has allowed for tens of thousands of nursing home residents to receive care from some staff who are not fully trained or certified as required by federal rules. Allowing untrained workers to provide medical care is a significant threat to residents' health.

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