House Republicans introduce measure to overturn nursing home staffing rule

May 16, 2024

House Republicans have introduced a Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn the Biden administration’s minimum staffing requirement for nursing homes. 

Under the requirements unveiled last month, all nursing homes that receive federal funding through Medicare and Medicaid will need to have a registered nurse on staff 24 hours per day, seven days per week and provide at least 3.48 hours of nursing care per resident per day. 

The rules will cost nursing homes $43 billion over the next decade, according to estimates from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  

Industry groups argue the measures set an impossible standard and will only worsen the existing staffing shortages. 

The measure was introduced earlier this week by Reps. Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.) and Greg Pence (R-Ind.), with the backing of prominent industry group LeadingAge, which represents nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes. 

“The HHS nursing staff mandate is a half-baked, one-size-fits-none plan that will not solve the nursing staff shortage,” Fishbach said in a statement. “I am committed to holding the government accountable and I am proud to introduce this CRA to overturn a potentially disastrous policy.” 

The rule has bipartisan opposition, especially among some front-line Democrats facing a difficult reelection in 2024. Those lawmakers, mostly from rural areas, argue that the rule is too strict and would force nursing homes to close.  

Even if the resolution passes, President Biden has the option to veto it. But the rule is still likely to face legal challenges from industry groups.