This week the Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA) delivered letters to the State’s Congressional Delegates expressing significant concerns over the CMS Minimum Staffing Proposal. In its letter, MHA explains that CMS has “missed the mark,” and goes on to describe the instability in the Massachusetts health care system that is caused by the workforce shortage and has bottlenecked access to the entire continuum of care. The MHA letter states that nearly one in every seven medical surgical beds is occupied by a patient that no longer needs to be in the hospital. The backlog of patients awaiting discharge—many waiting for post acute care—averages 1200 per day across the Commonwealth.
MSCA is grateful for MHAs support in opposing the CMS minimum staffing proposal which calls for an RN on duty 24 hours a day, a minimum .55 hours per resident day (HPRD) for RNs, and a minimum 2.45 HPRD for CNAs. As currently drafted, 85% of Massachusetts nursing facilities would not meet at least one of the proposed rules, and the $200 million dollars needed to implement the proposal is completely unfunded. The MHA letters were sent to the Delegation approximately two weeks after MSCA sent its own letters expressly urging the delegation to contact CMS and request changes to the rule. We strongly urge all stakeholders to submit comments to CMS by the November 6th deadline.