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Premier Advocates for Policies to Bolster the Long-Term Care Workforce

Premier submitted a statement for record for the Senate Special Committee on Aging’s hearing that examined shortages in the long-term care (LTC) workforce and policies to meet the increasing demand for care professionals. Premier underscored how the current shortage of healthcare workers in the LTC setting is exacerbated by the difficulty in recruiting and retaining qualified and interested candidates to fill open positions. Premier urged the committee to consider a multi-pronged approach, and a mix of both near term and longer-term solutions to address these challenges. Premier recommendations include:

  • CMS’ proposed rule on minimum staffing standards in LTC facilities could intensify the staffing crisis and create new challenges, as Premier articulated in formal comments to CMS. Instead of finalizing a flawed policy, CMS should work with stakeholders to further study and understand the impact of staffing ratios on access to quality care for residents.
  • In addition, Congress should help address the root cause of the problem and advance legislation to alleviate persistent healthcare workforce shortages. The nation needs to strengthen the LTC training pipeline by providing additional support for existing healthcare workforce training programs as well as for new educational opportunities for non-physician healthcare workers.
  • Congress should consider policies that incentivize nursing homes and other LTC providers to implement electronic health records (EHRs) and electronic clinical surveillance technology to help LTC staff work more effectively and maximize their workflow, provide meaningful assistance with infection control and help prevent clinician burnout.
  • Congress should enact bipartisan legislation providing federal protections for healthcare workers who experience violence and intimidation in their workplace settings and grants to reduce incidences of violence.
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