Workforce Shortage Waiver (WSW)
Effective July 1, 2018, all freestanding skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), excluding distinct parts of general acute care hospitals (GACHs), state-owned hospitals, or developmental centers, are required to provide 3.5 direct care service hours per patient day, with CNAs performing a minimum of 2.4 hours per patient day. Health and Safety Code section 1276.65(l) requires the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to develop a waiver process for SNFs seeking a waiver of the 3.5 direct care service hours requirement and/or the 2.4 CNA hours requirement due to a workforce shortage. Even with an approved waiver, a facility may not staff below 3.2 direct care hours. A SNF seeking a workforce shortage waiver must submit a waiver application to CDPH. In addition, facilities must post notice of a pending or approved waiver request in the facility and must notify potential residents of the facility that they either have an approved or pending waiver application.
How to apply
The application filing period for WSW opens on January 1 and must be filed no later than April 1. The online application portal located on the Flex Waiver Webpage will open on January 1. All applications must be submitted no later than April 1. CDPH will not accept applications submitted outside of this timeframe.
An applicant must be an authorized user to submit a completed online application.
A username and password is needed in order to log in. For first time waiver applicants, providers will receive an invitation from CDPH to create a password. The provider's username will be their email address. The provider may log in at Flex Waiver Webpage (only using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge). Detailed instructions for registering and submitting an application will be available.
After successfully submitting an online application, the system sends a confirmation e-mail with an identification number (tracking ID number) to the provider's designated point of contact listed on the application. All correspondence regarding the application will be sent to the point of contact. CDPH must receive all required documentation to process the application.