On July 13, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposed rule change that would allow health care professionals to be paid by Medicare exclusively for time spent training family caregivers. The change was proposed as a part of CMS’s annual review under the Medicare program. This proposal builds on President Biden’s executive order released in April to support family caregivers.

The National Alliance for Caregiving has been a long-time advocate for policy reform to better integrate family caregivers as part of treatment teams. AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving’s 2020 Caregiving in the U.S found that 58 percent of caregivers report being responsible for medical/nursing tasks including injections, tube feeding, catheter, and colostomy care, among many other complex tasks. Although tasked with this important responsibility, caregivers reported being inadequately trained for medical and nursing tasks. Additionally, caregivers reported having little to no implementation monitoring over time.

“If finalized, CMS’ proposal to pay for caregiver training would be a critical step in recognizing the essential role that family caregivers play in safeguarding the health of American families,” said Jason Resendez, President & CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving. “It would also move us closer to realizing the goals outlined in the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers. NAC looks forward to continuing to work with federal agencies, the Administration, congressional members, and the newly relaunched Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) Caucus to support America’s 53 million family caregivers.”

Earlier this year, NAC launched the Act on RAISE campaign to drive implementation of the actions outlined in the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers. The campaign brings together more than 80 organizations across the caregiving continuum (aging groups, patient advocacy groups, disability groups, and caregiving groups) to strengthen federal-level coordination needed to support America’s family caregivers as envisioned in the RAISE Family Caregivers Act.

About The National Alliance for Caregiving

Established in 1996, the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) is a national membership-based organization focused on building health, wealth, and equity for family caregivers through research, innovation, and advocacy. We envision a society that values, supports, and empowers family caregivers to thrive at home, work, and life. Learn more at https://www.caregiving.org.