Senators Wicker and Hyde-Smith Join Legislation to Overturn the Biden Administration’s Nursing Home Staffing Requirements

New staffing requirement would harm rural and underserved communities in Mississippi

June 11, 2024

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration is pushing forward a proposal that would require an unreasonable increase in nursing home staffing requirements.

Under the new guidelines, nursing homes must provide an average of at least 3.48 hours of daily care per resident, with at least .55 daily hours of registered nurse (RN) care and 2.45 hours from nurse aides. The rule also requires an RN to be on-site 24/7. The average nursing home with 100 residents would need to have at least two RNs working per day, along with 10 or 11 nurse aides. Roughly 99 percent of Mississippi nursing homes already face staff shortages and would not be able to meet these regulations.

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., cosponsored legislation that would stop this effort from going into effect and released the following statements.

“Mississippi’s nursing home needs do not match the other 49 states,” Senator Wicker said. The Biden administration’s decision to impose this unrealistic, unilateral staffing requirement would devastate the quality of care in our rural and underserved communities. I will keep fighting to ensure there is no harm to patient access.”

“There’s no question that nursing home care should be improved, but slapping one-size-fits-all, big-government regulations on small and rural states like Mississippi will only hurt those who rely on these homes. The staffing requirements set by the Biden administration are unachievable for most nursing homes in our state. Any penalties the feds impose on these homes will, in the end, only penalize seniors,” Hyde-Smith said.

For the effort to be overturned, both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate would have to pass the resolution, also known as a Congressional Review Act.