The State of America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis 2022

The longstanding direct support workforce crisis, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to closures of critically needed services and a denial of access to community-based supports.
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Capitol Correspondence - 08.25.20

Big Picture: CMS Issued Over $15 Million in Fines to Nursing Homes

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Since some people with intellectual / developmental disabilities (I/DD) reside in nursing homes, we are sharing this press release by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the broader awareness of the disability community.

“Under the leadership of President Trump, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced that the agency has imposed more than $15 million in civil money penalties (CMPs) to more than 3,400 nursing homes during the public health emergency for noncompliance with infection control requirements and the failure to report coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) data. This is part of the Trump Administration’s commitment to safeguarding nursing home residents from the ongoing threat of COVID-19 and holding nursing homes accountable for the health and safety of the residents they serve. [ANCOR note: CMS also issued an informational bulletin on “flexibilities available to state Medicaid agencies to enhance payment for nursing facilities (also referred to as nursing homes throughout this CIB) during the COVID-19 public health emergency to account for potentially increased resident acuity levels and to support any necessary actions that facilities are implementing to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19”.]

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On March 4, 2020, CMS prioritized its inspection protocols to allow inspectors to focus on the most serious health and safety threats like infectious diseases and abuse.  These inspections – also called surveys – are just one of the many tools being used to determine if facilities are safely caring for this vulnerable population. Since March 4, 2020, CMS and the state survey agencies have completed infection control surveys in over 15,276 (99.2 percent) of nursing homes.  These surveys have resulted in more than 180 immediate jeopardy level findings for infection control, which is triple the rate of such deficiencies found in 2019.  Immediate Jeopardy represents a situation in which a nursing home’s noncompliance with CMS requirements of participation has caused or is likely to cause serious injury, serious harm, serious impairment, or death to a resident.  CMS has imposed CMPs for these violations totaling nearly $10 million to nursing homes in 22 states. The average CMP imposed was $55,000.

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The majority of nursing homes are reporting data as required.  As of August 3, 2020, over 99 percent of facilities are reporting data.  However, for those nursing homes that have not reported data or have lapsed, CMS is taking enforcement action.  As of August 3, 2020, CMS has also cited more than 3,300 deficiencies and imposed more than $5.5 million in CMPs to nursing homes for failing to report required COVID-19-related data to the CDC.”