In a February 25, 2021 letter to Elizabeth Richter, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, asks for reinstatement of longstanding resident protections that have been waived during the COVID-19 pandemic and for the reversal of changes to regulations and guidance that the Trump Administration implemented as it prioritized “reductions in provider burden over consumer protections.” Chairman Neal asks for reinstatement of standard surveys, “with robust enforcement,” and training requirements for nurse aides and paid feeding assistants. In addition, among other specific changes, the Chairman calls for:
- Reinstatement of per day civil money penalties as the default (reversing the per instance penalty that the Trump Administration made the default);
- Reinstatement of the Obama ban on pre-dispute binding arbitration agreements in nursing home admissions contracts;
- Better resident protections from antipsychotic drugs; and
- Improved data on staff and patient COVID-19 data, antipsychotic drug use, and facility ownership information.