CMS is waiving the requirement that a SNF and NF may not employ anyone for longer than four months unless they meet certain training and certification requirements. CMS is waiving these requirements to assist in potential staffing shortages seen with the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure the health and safety of nursing home residents, CMS is not waiving the requirement to not use any individual working as a nurse aide for more than four months, on a full-time basis, unless that individual is competent to provide nursing and nursing related services. Facilities are still required to ensure that nurse aides are able to demonstrate competency in skills and techniques necessary to care for residents’ needs, as identified through resident assessments, and described in the plan of care.
Achieving adequate staffing levels may be a concern for SNFs and NFs during the public health emergency. CMS is temporarily waiving these requirements so they do not present barriers for SNFs and NFs to hire staff; the temporary waiver will help these facilities provide adequate levels of staffing for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.