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Congress Must Provide Additional Relief Funds For Long Term Care Providershttps://publish.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/Congress-Must-Provide-Additional-Relief-Funds-For-Long-Term-Care-Providers.aspxCongress Must Provide Additional Relief Funds For Long Term Care Providers10/26/2020 4:00:00 AM<p>​<span style="font-size:11pt;">As discussions around the next stimulus bill continue, the health of millions of long term care residents and staff is at stake. Billions of dollars are on the line to help the country address the impact of COVID-19, and the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) is <a href="https://www.wusa9.com/article/features/producers-picks/nursing-homes-worry-about-new-spike-in-deaths-as-cases-rise-again/65-02a75503-ed90-403a-bb27-0bf8edc0ab6e" target="_blank">encouraging</a> lawmakers to legislate and pass a relief package. In July, AHCA/NCAL <a href="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/Nursing-Homes-Request-Priority-and-Funding-From-Congress-in-Next-COVID-Bill-to-Protect-Residents-and-Caregivers.aspx" target="_blank">requested priority</a> in the next stimulus bill, including: </span></p><div><ul><li>A two-pronged approach to testing that provides financial support for increased and prioritized testing for providers and residents.</li><li>An additional $100 billion to the Provider Relief Fund with a substantial portion dedicated to long term care.</li><li>​Vaccine priority to residents and staff.</li></ul></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;">Most of the $175 billion Provider Relief Fund provided in April by the CARES Act has already been distributed, but long term care providers will need additional funding to continue fighting the virus – especially with new COVID cases now rising among the general population in the majority of the country.</span><br></div><div><br></div><div>AHCA/NCAL released a <a href="/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/FactSheets/Report-Nursing-Homes-Cases-Oct19-2020.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> last week that showed that a third spike in cases could occur in long term care facilities due to increasing community spread. Recent data from Johns Hopkins and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shows that weekly nursing home cases rose in late September for the first time in seven weeks after new cases dropped significantly throughout August and early September. According to Johns Hopkins, COVID cases in the general U.S. population rose by 62,139 cases per week in late September correlating with an uptick in nursing home cases during the week of September 27.</div><div><br></div><div>With a third spike looming, long term care providers need reinforced support. Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), including gowns, gloves and N95 masks, and timely testing are the most effective ways to keep residents and staff safe. These supplies are especially important as some states move to resume visitation. But these resources come with considerable costs, which is why additional funding from Congress is so critical.</div><div> </div><div>Without replenishing funds, the country could repeat the same mistakes that were made during the initial outbreak in the spring and the major spike over the summer. Nursing homes and assisted living communities could find themselves unprepared for the challenges of the upcoming winter season, which could inevitably result in an uptick in new COVID cases.   </div><div><br></div><div>We cannot forget that the virus still poses a considerable threat to long term care residents and staff. Congress must prioritize our vulnerable seniors and their caregivers by passing another bill as soon as possible. The funding long term care providers have received thus far has helped, but without another round of funding, providers risk losing the progress they’ve made. </div><div><br></div><div><strong>ABOUT AHCA/NCAL</strong></div><div>The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents more than 14,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit <a href="/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">www.ahcancal.org</a> or <a href="/Assisted-Living/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">www.ncal.org</a>.<br></div>As discussions around the next stimulus bill continue, the health of millions of long term care residents and staff is at stake.
Nursing Homes Warn of Third Spike of COVID Cases Due to Community Spreadhttps://publish.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/Nursing-Homes-Warn-of-Third-Spike-of-COVID-Cases-Due-to-Community-Spread.aspxNursing Homes Warn of Third Spike of COVID Cases Due to Community Spread10/19/2020 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div><strong>WASHINGTON, D.C.</strong> - The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released a <a href="/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/FactSheets/Report-Nursing-Homes-Cases-Oct19-2020.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> today showing nursing homes in the U.S. could see a third spike of increasing new COVID cases due to the community spread among the general population.</div><div><br></div><div>Recent data released by John Hopkins and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show that with the recent spike in new COVID cases in the general U.S. population, weekly nursing home cases rose in late September for the first time in seven weeks after new cases dropped significantly throughout August and early September. According to John Hopkins, COVID cases in the general U.S. population rose by 62,139 cases per week in late September correlating with an uptick in nursing home cases during the week of September 27.</div><div> <br></div><p>​<img src="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/PublishingImages/Pages/Nursing-Homes-Warn-of-Third-Spike-of-COVID-Cases-Due-to-Community-Spread/chart%201.png" alt="chart 1.png" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p></p><div>As <a href="/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/FactSheets/Analysis-COVID-Outbreaks-in-Nursing-Homes.pdf" target="_blank">experts</a> have repeatedly noted, COVID-19 cases in a surrounding community is a top factor in outbreaks in nursing homes. Dr. David Grabowski, professor of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School recently <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/covid-19-surges-back-into-nursing-homes-in-coronavirus-hot-spots/2020/08/13/edbff5fe-dd75-11ea-b205-ff838e15a9a6_story.html" target="_blank">stated</a>, “The strongest predictor of whether or not we’ll see cases in [a particular setting] is community spread.”</div><div><br></div><div>“The number one factor in keeping COVID out of our nursing homes, so we can protect our vulnerable population is reducing the level of the virus in the surrounding community,” stated Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “While the support we have received from Congress, the Administration and other public health agencies have helped our facilities fight this battle, we could still see another wave of COVID cases caused by the sheer volume of rising cases in communities across the U.S. given the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of this virus.”</div><div><br></div><div>The report showed new COVID cases in nursing homes had declined significantly from 10,125 cases the week of July 26 —when the country experienced a growing number of cases in the <a href="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/REPORT-COVID-Cases-in-Nursing-Homes-Surpass-Peak-Level-Back-in-May.aspx" target="_blank">Sun Belt states</a>—but saw an uptick in new cases in the final week of September. </div><div><br></div><div><img src="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/PublishingImages/Pages/Nursing-Homes-Warn-of-Third-Spike-of-COVID-Cases-Due-to-Community-Spread/chart%202.png" alt="chart 2.png" style="margin:5px;" /><br><br></div><p>The report also showed COVID-related deaths in nursing homes had declined significantly, but industry leaders remain concerned about the recent uptick in new COVID cases in facilities.<br><br><img src="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/PublishingImages/Pages/Nursing-Homes-Warn-of-Third-Spike-of-COVID-Cases-Due-to-Community-Spread/chart%203.png" alt="chart 3.png" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><div>With new COVID cases now rising in the general population of 38 states, Parkinson said now more than ever Congress needs to end the partisan logjam and prioritize frontline health care workers and residents, particularly vulnerable elderly populations.</div><div><br></div><div>Most of the $175 billion Provider Relief Fund provided by the CARES Act back in April has already been distributed and Parkinson said health care providers, including long term care facilities, will need additional funds to continue its response to the COVID pandemic heading into the cold and flu season, which provides new challenges.</div><div><br></div><div>“Without replenishing funds for federal and state agencies, health care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living communities, could find themselves less than completely prepared for the challenges of the upcoming winter season, which could inevitably result in an uptick in new COVID cases,” stated Parkinson. “Without adequate funding and resources, the U.S. will repeat the same mistakes made during the initial outbreak last spring and the major spike over the summer. We need Congress to prioritize our vulnerable seniors and their caregivers in nursing homes and assisted living communities, by passing another COVID funding package before they leave town for the elections.”</div><div><br></div><div>For more information, please visit www.<a href="/Survey-Regulatory-Legal/Emergency-Preparedness/pages/coronavirus.aspx" target="_blank">ahcancal.org/coronavirus</a>.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>ABOUT AHCA/NCAL</strong></div><div>The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents more than 14,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit <a href="/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">www.ahcancal.org</a> or <a href="/Assisted-Living/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">www.ncal.org</a>.<br></div>AHCA/NCAL released a report today showing nursing homes in the U.S. could see a third spike of increasing new COVID cases due to the community spread among the general population.With COVID cases increasing in 38 states, industry leaders call on public health officials to ensure nursing homes have resources needed and for Congress to pass additional funding
Report: Nursing Home Cases Through September 27, 2020https://publish.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/FactSheets/Report-Nursing-Homes-Cases-Oct19-2020.pdfReport: Nursing Home Cases Through September 27, 202010/19/2020 4:00:00 AMNursing homes in the U.S. could see a third spike of increasing new COVID cases due to the community spread among the general population.
Financial Challenges Continue To Affect Nursing Homes, Emphasizing Need For Higher Medicaid Reimbursement Rateshttps://publish.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/Financial-Challenges-Continue-To-Affect-Nursing-Homes,-Emphasizing-Need-For-Higher-Medicaid-Reimbursement-Rates.aspxFinancial Challenges Continue To Affect Nursing Homes, Emphasizing Need For Higher Medicaid Reimbursement Rates10/14/2020 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div>As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the country, widespread financial challenges loom over many long term care facilities. One of the root causes of these challenges is Medicaid underfunding. Prior to the pandemic, shortfalls in Medicaid funding had forced providers to operate on shoestring budgets and suffer net losses year after year. Now, these problems have been magnified due to the cost to fight the pandemic.</div><div><br></div><div>Here’s how Medicaid shortfalls occur:</div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>Medicaid, the primary payer for nursing homes, covers more than 60 percent of all nursing home residents and approximately 50 percent of costs for long term care services.</li><li>​Medicaid reimbursements, on the other hand, only cover 70 to 80 percent of the actual cost of care.</li></ul></div><div><br></div><div>Low Medicaid reimbursement rates, coupled with the financial hardships from the pandemic, threaten the viability of the entire long term care sector. An American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) <a href="/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/FactSheets/Survey-SNF-COVID-Costs.pdf" target="_blank">survey</a> found that more than half of nursing homes are currently operating at a loss and 72 percent of nursing homes say they won’t be able to sustain operation another year at the current pace. </div><div><br></div><div>The consequences of these hardships are coming to fruition. Nursing homes and assisted living communities in <a href="https://www.kcra.com/article/woodland-nursing-home-covid-19-close-ceo/33395043#" target="_blank">California</a>, <a href="https://newcountry991.com/estes-park-nursing-home-faces-possible-closure/" target="_blank">Colorado</a>, <a href="https://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/2020/07/nursing-home-employees-shocked-after-learning-about-facilitys-closure-in-mlive-article.html" target="_blank">Michigan</a>, <a href="https://www.unionleader.com/news/health/merrimack-assisted-living-facility-closing-its-doors/article_ac8b9f8b-ee5e-55cf-a155-0ddc4d46c2ac.html" target="_blank">New Hampshire</a>, <a href="https://westchester.news12.com/105yearold-ossining-nursing-home-to-close-doors-for-good-42409607" target="_blank">New York</a> and <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/providence-nursing-home-to-close-citing-covid-19-losses/" target="_blank">Rhode Island</a> have announced closures or have warned of possible closures, which will force residents to abruptly move and find new care. These relocations often lead to residents living further away from loved ones. </div><div><br></div><div>The situation is dire for many, and long term care leaders are calling for action.</div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>Rhode Island Health Care Association Executive Director Scott Fraser <a href="https://turnto10.com/news/local/nursing-home-industry-in-ri-urges-the-state-to-raise-medicaid-funding" target="_blank">says</a> the industry is facing a “funding crisis” and is concerned about the future for nursing homes. A report submitted to the state shows that nursing homes lost $7 million in 2017 and 2018. He’s calling on the state to boost reimbursement rates to keep up with inflation. </li><li>Nursing home representatives in New Hampshire testified before a state legislative committee that without higher reimbursement rates, facilities will be unable to address staffing shortages and increase wages. One organization president <a href="https://manchesterinklink.com/state-criticized-for-low-medicaid-payments-to-nursing-homes/" target="_blank">said</a> that they lose $45 per day per Medicaid resident. Medicaid residents, he says, make up 80 percent of all of their residents.  </li></ul></div><div><br></div><div>CARES Act funding that long term care facilities have received thus far has helped, but with potential surges of COVID-19, it’s important that they continue to get needed support. AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson recently told <a href="https://skillednursingnews.com/2020/10/parkinson-cares-act-will-keep-nursing-homes-above-water-in-2020-but-closures-loom-in-2021/" target="_blank">Skilled Nursing News</a>, “If we don’t get assistance beyond that point, beyond the end of 2020 into 2021, that’s when you’re going to see that large percentage of buildings that say that they’re operating at a loss, that’s where you’re going to see potential closures.” </div><div><br></div><div>Long-term solutions are needed to ensure facilities can continue providing high-quality care for their residents. An important place to start is making sure Medicaid reimbursement rates keep up with the cost of care.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>ABOUT AHCA/NCAL</strong></div><div>The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents more than 14,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit <a href="/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">www.ahcancal.org</a> or <a href="/Assisted-Living/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">www.ncal.org</a>.<br><br></div>As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the country, widespread financial challenges loom over many long term care facilities. One of the root causes of these challenges is Medicaid underfunding.

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