Training Waivers

Consumer advocates are encouraging CMS to end the temporary waiver on nurse aide training. The rule says that new aides cannot work longer than four months without becoming certified. CMS waived the certification and training requirement in April 2020. CMS implemented the waiver during the pandemic because it was a public health crisis.

Providers argue it has been a key solution to workforce declines because of low wages, unsafe working conditions, and lack of benefits. The waiver immediately helped provide more direct-care workers during the early pandemic months.

Bloomberg News reported pressure on CMS to end its waiver of the nurse-aide training requirement. Opponents argue the lack of training harms residents and places nursing assistants at a higher risk of injury. CMS shares advocates’ concerns. However, they want to “end waivers as soon as possible, when they are no longer necessary to ensure that sufficient healthcare items and services are available to meet the needs” of federal health program beneficiaries, according to the report.

To me, training is necessary. Many of our nursing home cases come down to the lack of training provided to the caregivers. Training prepares the staff and protects the residents.