Reps. Blunt Rochester & LaHood Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Hospital-Based Nursing Schools From Federal Funding Claw Back

Nursing Schools such as the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing at Beebe Health are at risk of losing millions without the legislation

WASHINGTON – Today, Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) introduced H.R. 4407, bipartisan legislation to make a technical correction to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) program that supports the training of nurses and other allied health professionals at hospital-based nursing schools across the country. 


Due to a technical error in how CMS administered this program in the past, many hospital-based nursing schools, including Beebe Healthcare’s Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing, may be required to send millions of dollars back to CMS. This clawback of federal funding could not come at a worse time, as hospitals and institutions of higher education have faced significant financial challenges over the past year in managing the COVID-19 pandemic along with nursing shortages across the nation. The threat of recoupment could curtail their programs or cause schools to shut down entirely, further limiting our nursing workforce capacity for the future.


“Educating our health care professionals, including nurses is a critical part of our health care landscape in Delaware. Hospital-based nursing schools, like the Rollins School of Nursing at Beebe Health, help bolster our communities and train excellent professionals that help keep Delawareans safe and healthy,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester. “The current proposal by CMS to claw back federal funding from these programs, which have already had to endure so much throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, is frankly, unacceptable. I’m proud to partner with Rep. LaHood in introducing this bipartisan piece of legislation to ensure that our hospital-based nursing programs can retain the resources they need and deserve.”


“Hospital-based nursing schools in the 18th district of Illinois play an important role in educating nurses and supporting our communities – particularly this past year as we have navigated the challenging COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. LaHood. “CMS’s proposed recoupment of federal funding already paid to hospital-based nursing schools could threaten the operations of nursing colleges while we continue to face nursing shortages across the country. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to protect Illinois’ hospital-based nursing schools, that often serve rural and underserved communities, support our hardworking nurses and health professionals, and strengthen our health system.” 


“The Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing in Lewes, Delaware provides healthcare organizations in Sussex County and in the surrounding Delmarva areas graduate nurses who are ready to enter the professional healthcare workforce, typically graduating 25-35 students every May.  We have provided high-quality nursing education in Delaware for 100 years, and we hope to continue this tradition for many years to come,” said Dr. Karen L. Pickard, DNP, MSN, RN, CNE; Director of the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing, Beebe Healthcare. “I applaud the leadership of Representative Blunt Rochester and her staff in leading the House Bill which mirrors Senate Bill 1568, and in her consistent support of the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing.  I am confident that this legislation will pass and that our program will be able to continue the tradition of providing excellent nursing education for the next 100 years!”


The Technical Reset to Advance the Instruction of Nurses (TRAIN) Act would ensure hospital-based nursing schools that received funding support from CMS in the past can keep those resources and put them toward training the next generation of nurses without the threat of recoupment. Specifically, the TRAIN Act would prohibit CMS from recouping overpayments made in past years to hospital-based programs when CMS failed to make technical annual updates to the program. 


Nurses and other allied health professionals who are educated and receive their training at hospital-based programs provide high-quality care to communities across the country, including areas facing nursing shortages. Nursing programs should not be required to pay for a problem they played no role in creating, at the cost of our future nursing workforce. 


Full text of the bill can be viewed here.


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