As I already mentioned, the hearing that was held felt much like a foregone conclusion based on the press release and the published memo (linked below). House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) read opening remarks that were taken so verbatim from industry talking points that have saturated social media in recent months, his remarks could easily have been mistaken for being written by Mark Parkinson himself, who is the president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL and the single most influential person in the long-term care industry today. That is how heard the industry is and how heard we families and advocates of residents ARE NOT.
Please check links below for video tutorials that explain the proposed standards and help you understand where/how to comment to CMS. THAT DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING COMMENTS IS COMING UP - NOVEMBER 6!
Below is the memo explaining the hearing which indicates a predisposition to opposing the staffing criteria, the opening statements of both Chair Guthrie and those of House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) who also delivered similar opposing opening remarks at yesterday’s Health Subcommittee hearing.
We are fortunate to have a resident advocate in Lori Smetanka from National Consumer Voice who was able to deliver sound and reasonable comments that underscore the critical role poor staffing levels are playing in compromised care but also demonstrate how illigitmate the industry arguments raised so far have been. I also appreciate her ability to break down complex information for us so that we can not only be better advocates but be better caregivers on a daily basis as we maneuver complex issues and interact with staff and agencies.
Please continue to remember that we are partners with our facillities and what hurts them hurts our loved ones. Poor staffing levels hurt everyone and the lack of investment in our staff salaries, working conditions, educations, and benefits hurts everyone.
We are Texas Caregivers for Compromise and we are #notgoingaway.
Memo -Health Subcommittee Hearing on October 25, 2023
Testimony from Sarah Schumann, Vice President of Operations, Brookside Inn
Testimony from MaryKillough, Vice President of Operations and Government Relations, AccentCare
Testimony from ShellyHughes, Certified Nurse Aide
Testimony from LoriSmetanka, Executive Director, The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care
Testimony from Patti Killingsworth, Former Chief of LTSS, TennCare; Chief Strategy Officer, CareBridge Health
Tutorial Video - How to Submit Comments to CMS Re: Proposed Staffing Standards
Turorial Video - Unpacking CMS's Proposed Minimum Staffing Standards
National Consumer Voice Help Page - tutorial, will walk you through the comment process and provide a link and a template if you need assistance - EASY PEASY!