Statement from Tim Foley, 1199SEIU Executive Vice President, on Critical Nursing Home Reforms

November 15, 2023

“The healthcare workers of 1199SEIU strongly support passage of An Act to improve quality and oversight of long-term care (H.4178).  Building upon the 2020 Nursing Facility Task Force reform recommendations and the experiences of the nursing home workforce during the ensuing pandemic, this bill makes a number of critical reforms that will improve care quality. 

Passage of this H.4178 would ensure more effective state oversight, strengthen review of new operators, and launch a comprehensive annual review of the financial performance of the nursing home industry.  We thank Speaker Mariano and Elder Affairs Committee House Chair Tom Stanley for their leadership in advancing these comprehensive long-term care reforms this session.

We especially appreciate the included Long-Term Care Workforce and Capital Fund. This fund will help pay for a range of much-needed workforce training programs, stipends for worker participants, and related worker supports.  We look forward to working with the Administration on developing the contemplated programs to train new certified nurses’ aides and to advance the skills of incumbent CNAs and other entry-level nursing home workers.

As this bill and other health care reform advances this session, we urge the legislature to take additional steps to address nursing home staffing shortages and job vacancies. Urgent action is needed to lift wages, reduce the overuse of costly temporary nursing agency staff, and otherwise ensure the Commonwealth’s nursing home industry is able to recruit and retain sufficient staff to meet the growing need.”