Hoeven, Lankford Introduce Legislation to Protect Rural Nursing Homes from Biden Administration Overreach

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week joined Senator James Lankford in introducing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval to overturn a final rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that imposes burdensome, one-size-fits-all federal staffing mandates on long-term care facilities and will force many rural nursing homes to shut their doors.

“The Biden administration continues its regulatory onslaught, this time placing burdensome and unworkable staffing mandates on long-term care facilities,” said Hoeven. “Our CRA will stop these overly broad mandates that will put rural care facilities in North Dakota and across the country out of business. Instead of one-size-fits-all mandates, CMS should be working with Congress to ensure that we have workable rules that protect patient care and work for long-term care facilities in rural communities.”

“Oklahomans shouldn’t lose access to health care because of overly broad and unrealistic rules from Washington, DC. The Biden Administration’s staffing requirements won’t fix workforce shortage problems or solve care quality problems, but they will make it even harder for seniors in rural areas to get care in their own communities. Our seniors deserve high-quality care. Instead of expecting a vague blanket policy to solve nuanced problems, CMS should work with Congress to ensure quality care while also ensuring patients are not displaced due to arbitrary mandates. I am leading the fight to prevent one-size-fits-all requirements from forcing rural nursing homes in Oklahoma to close,” said Lankford. 

In addition to Hoeven and Lankford, the bipartisan resolution was introduced by Senators Joe Manchin, Mike Braun, Jim Risch, Kevin Cramer, Roger Marshall, Deb Fischer, Jerry Moran, Bill Cassidy, Cynthia Lummis, Mike Rounds, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Joni Ernst, Katie Britt, Shelley Moore Capito, Jon Tester, Bill Hagerty, John Boozman, Markwayne Mullin, Tom Cotton, Thom Tillis, Susan Collins, John Cornyn, Mike Crapo, Steve Daines, Marsha Blackburn, John Barrasso, John Thune, Roger Wicker and Mike Lee.

Hoeven opposed the rule when it was first proposed by CMS last year, and pressed the Biden administration to rescind the rule. In a letter to CMS, Hoeven and 27 of his colleagues wrote, “We understand the importance of ensuring beneficiaries of federal health care programs have access to safe and high-quality nursing care. In fact, we share your intended goal of improving the quality of care for seniors. However, a one-size-fits-all staffing mandate significantly undermines access to care for patients, particularly in rural communities. Instead, CMS should work with Congress and stakeholders on policy alternatives that address the severe workforce challenges in our states’ underserved areas.”