Governor Kelly Sends Letter Advocating for
Rural Federal Nursing Homes

~~Rule Does Not Reflect Realities of the Tight Rural Kansas Labor Market~~

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra regarding a proposed staffing requirement by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at long-term care facilities (LTC). The governor shared how the proposed rule could exacerbate workforce shortages and other issues facing LTCs in Kansas, including 317 nursing facilities and long-term care units of hospitals.

At a time when LTCs face staffing shortages, the proposed rule includes staffing ratio standards that are unachievable, which could potentially lead to more facility closures and reduce access to care for seniors. According to LeadingAge Kansas, an association of nonprofit aging services providers, already nearly 85,000 Kansans live in areas with only one nursing and residential care provider within a 30-minute drive. They are at risk of joining the 23,000 Kansans already living in a care desert if more facilities were to close.

“Seniors and their families should not be forced to choose between moving to receive health care or attempting to make do at home,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “That’s why I’m pushing back against a top-down rule from the federal government that would make it even harder for Kansans in rural communities to get the care they need in their later years.”

A copy of the letter can be found here.