Congress Must Prioritize Long Term Care Facilities And Secure Additional Funding

As Congress continues discussions around the next COVID relief bill, lawmakers must prioritize the health of long term care residents and their caregivers. COVID cases around the country continue to rise, and long term care facilities need more support to fight the virus.

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) has made specific requests in the next stimulus bill, including: 

  • An additional $100 billion be added to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Provider Relief Fund, with a substantial portion dedicated to the long term care sector. This will help providers acquire essential resources, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and staff support.​
  • A $5 billion long term care testing fund to help nursing homes and assisted living communities alleviate the costs of testing.
  • Prioritized COVID-19 testing to the providers and population most at risk.
  • Vaccine priority.
Nursing homes and assisted living communities continue to work day in and day out to stop the spread of the virus, but without additional support, facilities could face the same hardships they did early on in the pandemic. The funding already distributed to long term care providers has been instrumental in helping combat the virus, but providers have exhausted most of these resources due to the high cost of PPE, regular testing and staff overhead.

AHCA/NCAL released a report last week showing a spike in new COVID cases in nursing homes due to community spread. Independent research shows that community spread is the primary factor in the likelihood of outbreaks in long term care facilities. With the holidays and winter months ahead, reinforced support has never been more important.

Long term care residents are among the most susceptible to the virus. Congress must work swiftly and diligently to make residents and staff a priority and pass additional relief funding to help prevent further outbreaks. We cannot lose the progress we’ve made to reduce COVID rates. We must work together and ensure every facility has the resources necessary to protect their residents and staff.

For the full list of AHCA/NCAL stimulus requests, click HERE.

ABOUT AHCA/NCAL
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 www.ahcancal.org or www.ncal.org.