I have been doing some research into the issue of Nurse Aide Training Waivers in New Mexico. Given that many facilities in New Mexico are located in small rural communities, losing Nurse Aide Training due to survey issues is a huge problem for some of those facilities.
What can such a facility do when there is an urgent need for Nurse Aide Training during the time period the facility is disallowed from the program? The Federal Regulations allow waivers in some instances.
Note that 42 USC 1396r(f)(2)(C) holds that a waiver (to its general prohibition of state approval of NATCEP programs at noncompliant facilities) is available for programs offered
- IN but not BY
noncompliant facilities if the State:
(i) determines that there is not other (sic) such program offered within a reasonable distance of the facility,
(ii) assures, through an oversight effort, that an adequate environment exists for operating the program in the facility, and
(iii) provides notice of such determination and assurances to the State long-term care ombudsman.
I could not locate a New Mexico regulation regarding the logistics of such a program in the New Mexico Administrative Code. However, I spoke with the knowledgeable folks at the Department of Health and was told that a facility wanting such a waiver should make a written request to the Department of Health. The facility must contract with an outside entity to come onto its premises to hold the training. The facility, should include the information referred to above in the CFR, as well as the name of the outside entity and a preview of the training program so that DOH can determine its sufficiency.
If the DOH determines that there is good reason to allow the facility to hold a Nurse Aide Training program by the separate entity on its premises, and the proposed program is sufficient, the DOH can approve the waiver and allow the training. The request for the waiver should be directed to David Rodriguez or Sandra Cole at the New Mexico Department of Health.