Advocates for Georgia's Elderly Since 1953


GHCA Voices Support for Lawsuit Against Federal Staffing Mandate

For Immediate Release
May 24, 2024

The Georgia Health Care Association (GHCA) today issued the following statement in support of a lawsuit filed late yesterday in the Northern District of Texas against HHS and CMS for exceeding their statutory authority and arbitrarily and capriciously issuing the Minimum Staffing Standards for Long-Term Care Facilities final rule. The lawsuit, filed by the American Health Care Association (AHCA), Texas Health Care Association (THCA), and several Texas long term care facilities, asks the court to issue an order and judgment setting aside the new staffing requirements that were finalized by CMS on May 10.

“Yesterday's action by AHCA and our colleagues in Texas affirms what we have been saying all along - CMS' arbitrary minimum staffing mandate for nursing homes is a significant overreach which would have a detrimental impact on access to care for seniors,” said GHCA President & CEO Chris Downing. “We support this effort to put a stop to this harmful mandate and applaud AHCA and THCA for taking a stand for our nation's most vulnerable.

“We all want to increase nursing home workforce, but one-size-fits-all mandates are not how you achieve this, especially when there are not enough healthcare workers to even meet current demand. It's unfortunate that it's come to this, but the Administration has repeatedly ignored the credible concerns of the long term care community as well as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.”

The staffing mandate, which does not provide corresponding funding or workforce programs to assist nursing homes to meet the requirements, puts more than 10,700 nursing home residents at risk of losing access to the care they need in the state of Georgia. Currently, less than 1% of Georgia's nursing homes meet all the requirements in the final rule and 47% of homes do not currently meet at least one of the four requirements. If nursing homes are unable to increase their workforce to meet the requirements under the final rule, they will be forced to limit the number of residents they can admit, shut entire wings or close the business entirely.

“We believe there is a smarter, more sustainable way to move forward that does not involve unfunded, unrealistic mandates,” Downing said. “We need targeted investments, not blanket mandates, to grow the long term care workforce. Litigation is just one avenue of defending access to care, and we continue to urge Congress to advance legislation to block the mandate and refocus on innovative, supportive solutions that will build the long term care workforce and protect seniors' access to care.”

To read AHCA's press release regarding the filing of the lawsuit, click here.

For an overview of the impact the staffing mandate would have in Georgia, click here.

For further information please contact:

Devon Barill, Director of Communications
Georgia Health Care Association 
(678) 783-1703