NAHCA’s Statement on Aug. 22nd CMS Informational Bulletin
CARL JUNCTION. MO. (Aug. 23, 2022):
NAHCA was pleased to see CNA education and training as a focus in a new informational bulletin issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Among other things, CMS encourages states to work with the agency and facilities to determine if there are any costs – such as those for continuing education training for CNAs – that can be included in the payment rate for Medicaid services.
The federal agency also urges states to seek out other solutions to training and testing capacity issues within the nursing facilities through collaboration with the states’ Departments of Public Health that certify Nurse Aide Training and Competency Programs (NATCEPs) to promote funded training opportunities for nursing facility staff.
We are pleased to see the recognition of CNAs’ significant role in ensuring quality care for nursing home and other post-acute and long-term care facility residents. This is something we have long advocated for, and it is tremendously satisfying to know that our voice is being heard.
NAHCA has built strong training and certification programs. These are designed not only to educate CNAs and build their skill sets but also to empower them and increase their confidence to serve residents as key players on the clinical team. We are eager to work with states to share our knowledge, experience, and best practices in this arena. At the same time, we encourage states to expand their capacity – including online opportunities – to make it easier for CNAs to pursue education, testing, and certification.
We understand staffing requirements are still under study, but we hope standards are adequate to enable and ensure quality care. We also realize that historically low pay and poor benefits have contributed to high CNA turnover and burnout, which has had a negative impact on care quality. We are optimistic about the potential for wage pass-throughs and other ways to improve compensation and benefits to boost retention and quality of care.
The National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) is a professional association of and for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and represents more than 26,000 CNA members across the country. NAHCA elevates the professional standing and performance of health care professionals through recognition, advocacy, education, and empowerment to maximize success and quality care. For more information about NAHCA and its workforce solutions, please visit their website at www.nahcacna.org.