CMS to Allow Unqualified Aides

CMS will allow nursing homes to hire unqualified people for critical positions of direct care treatment.  Even now with unemployment at record highs, and the need for more staffing at nursing homes. The nursing home industry lobbied the Trump administration to relax regulations to certify nurse aides. At the start of the pandemic, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services alowed caregivers to complete only eight hours of online training, instead of the 75 previously required.

Getting rid of training costs is a longstanding industry goal. This includes waiving the requirement that nurse’s aides receive 75 hours of training. The industry had been fighting for years to reduce training requirements, saying they make it harder to recruit staff. CMS is allowing people to study only eight hours online to become direct caregivers during a global pandemic.

The day after the administration announced the change, the industry rolled out a free online training program for certifying the new role — called a “temporary nurse aide” — that has since been adopted by at least 19 states.

Meanwhile, Seema Verma is in trouble again.  She violated federal contracting rules. She got caught diverting millions of taxpayer dollars in contracts. These contracts benefited GOP-aligned communications consultants, according to an inspector general report. The contracts were only halted after a POLITICO investigation discovered the illegal scheme. The agency had already paid out more than $7 million to the contractors.