Coronavirus

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are working with the federal government​​​ to ensure nursing hom​​es, assisted living communities, and intermediate care facilities for indiv​​iduals with intellectual disabilities receive necessary supplies and guidance to prevent the spread ​of this virus.​

Visit this website regularly for the latest information that AHCA/NCAL has to share with long term care providers about COVID-19. 


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How You Can Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

 Providers

Please note tha​t skilled nursing providers should consult the guidance put forth by CMS and the CDC, and assisted living communities should consult CDC guidance. Providers should also check their local and state health departments for updates and potentially stricter guidance, but these are general, national prevention and containment tips:

 
Infection Control: Maintain i​nfection control policies and procedures, updated where needed and increase transmission-based precautions.
 
Staff: #GetVaccinated! Regularly wash your hands and use PPE where appropriate. Stay home if you're sick.​ ​
 
Limit Interactions: Implement social distancing within the facility where possible to help prevent the spread of infection.
 
PPE: Regularly review federal and state guidance on appropriate use of masks, gowns, gloves, etc. and maintain your inventory​.
 
Communicate: Report suspected or confirmed cases to authorities. Keep residents, families and staff informed about your developing situation. Prepare for media inquiries.
 
Engagement: Follow government guidelines for safe in-person visitations, keep residents connected with loved ones remotely, and offer meaningful activities adapted for this situation​.


If a staff member shows symptoms of COVID-19: Have them go home immediately. 

If a resident shows symptoms of ​COVID-19​: Implement droplet precaution, and contact the local health department. ​


 Families

Coronavirus (COVID-19) poses a serious threat to older adults (especially 80 years old and older) and those with underlying health conditions. This is why in certain circumstances the federal government and many state governments are restricting visitors to nursing homes and assisted living communities. Adaptations (e.g., limited indoor and outdoor visits) and exceptions on a case-by-case basis (e.g., end-of-life or compassionate care visits) may be made. ​We understand this is difficult, but the safety and wellbeing of your loved one is our top priority.  

Here’s how you can continue to stay in touch with them, and how you can help: 

  • Communicate with your loved ones through alternative ways for the time being, whether by phone, video, social media, or other methods. Ask the facility about ways they can help with this.  
  • Make sure your loved one’s facility has your emergency contact information. The facility may need to communicate with you about any developments regarding your loved one or about the facility as a whole.
    • Many long term care facilities are only permitted to share information about a resident to a designated health representative. Work together as a family unit to share information to keep everyone informed.       
  • If you must come to the facility, coordinate with the staff ahead of time. Learn more about how you can prepare for a visit to a long term care facility
    • They may ask you some questions, take your temperature, have you take a COVID test, and/or make sure you’re wearing proper protective equipment (like a mask) when you arrive. This is to make sure you do not pose as a potential risk to residents and staff.  
    • If you are asked to not enter the building, please understand this is for the safety of your loved one and everyone else in the building. Nursing homes and assisted living communities are following direction from the government to prevent the spread of this virus.  
    • ​If you are permitted in, please wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately upon entering and throughout your visit. Wear a mask and any other protective equipment as directed by the facility. Avoid touching your loved ones or other individuals in the building. Again, we know this is difficult, but the virus is very contagious and social distancing is important at this time. ​
  • Do your part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. High community spread is linked to outbreaks in nursing homes. Follow the CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others. Get the COVID-19 vaccine, when you are eligible. 
  • ​Warn your loved ones about potential scammers during this crisis and encourage them to be cautious.​

 Residents

Coronavirus (COVID-19) poses a serious threat to older adults (especially 80 years old and older) and those with underlying health conditions. This is why in certain circumstances the federal government and many state governments are restricting visitors to nursing homes and assisted living communities. We understand this is a difficult and stressful time. Those who work in long term care facilities are focused on your safety and wellbeing.  

Here’s how you can continue to stay in touch with your loved ones, and how you can help: 

  • Ask the facility about other ways you can communicate with your loved ones, whether by phone, video or social media.  
  • If you haven't already, get the COVID-19 vaccine. Your facility is working with a pharmacy or state/local officials to offer vaccinations​ and can provide more specific information about how and when this will work. 
  • Follow everyday preventive actions such as: 
    • ​Washing your hands or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers 
    • Covering your cough and sneezes ​
    • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth 
    • Keeping 6-feet distance from other residents and staff (when possible) 
  • ​Ask other individuals (including staff) to avoid touching you with handshakes, hugs or kisses. Ask them to wash their hands. Do not be shy! It’s okay to remind people.
  • Watch out for potential scammers​ during this crisis. 
  • If you begin to experience difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell​, tell a staff member immediately.​

 

 

Nursing Homes Need Financial Support To Prevent Mounting Closureshttps://publish.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/Nursing-Homes-Need-Financial-Support-To-Prevent-Mounting-Closures.aspxNursing Homes Need Financial Support To Prevent Mounting Closures6/17/2021 4:00:00 AM<p>​<br></p><div>Chronic Medicaid underfunding has put nursing homes in a long-standing financial crisis, but financial challenges have worsened amid the pandemic. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) <a href="https://d3dkdvqff0zqx.cloudfront.net/groups/ahca/attachments/protect%20access%20to%20long%20term%20care_ib.pdf" target="_blank">estimates</a> that within a two-year period (2020-2021), the long term care profession will lose $94 billion due to declining revenues and the increased costs needed to fight the pandemic.</div><div><br></div><div>Staffing and PPE are two major expenditures for nursing homes. in 2020 alone, nursing homes spent roughly $30 billion on personal protective equipment (PPE) and additional staffing. Nursing homes are now struggling to find <a href="https://www.axios.com/americas-nursing-homes-fight-to-find-enough-caregivers-293e5f15-3ff6-462c-b9dd-e09602fdbd94.html" target="_blank">enough workers</a>, but it is difficult for many to offer competitive wages given their financial constraints. A recent <a href="https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210615005147/en/LTCG%E2%80%99s-Annual-Cost-of-Care-Report-Reveals-How-the-Global-Pandemic-and-Other-Industry-Trends-Impacted-Long-Term-Care-Costs" target="_blank">report</a> by LTCG, the leading insurance administration and claims solution provider for long term care insurance, found that the hourly rates for facility-based care increased between 2.5 percent and 2.8 percent depending on room type. </div><div><br></div><div>Without financial support, closures are inevitable. In Michigan, <a href="https://wwmt.com/news/i-team/nursing-home-closures" target="_blank">two facilities</a> have recently announced they are closing, both citing pandemic-related financial challenges. Dozens of seniors now have to find a new place to live. Pat Honeysett, daughter of a resident at the William Crispe Community House, <a href="https://wwmt.com/news/i-team/nursing-home-closures" target="_blank">explained</a> that her mother “made friends with the people there. Seeing someone go, and not knowing you won’t see them again is hard.” </div><div><br></div><div>The closures do not stop there. There have been closures nationwide, including <a href="https://www.marinij.com/2020/12/02/editorial-nazareth-house-closure-a-sad-note-at-a-critical-time-of-need/" target="_blank">California</a>, <a href="https://www.wane.com/news/bluffton-nursing-home-closes-its-doors-two-weeks-early/" target="_blank">Indiana</a>, <a href="https://www.courant.com/coronavirus/hc-news-coronavirus-waterbury-nursing-home-closed-20201202-ci4vnfvey5c4xkq7vtcsb33sae-story.html" target="_blank">Connecticut</a>, <a href="https://www.masslive.com/news/2020/11/farren-care-center-closing-tip-of-the-iceberg-for-massachusetts-nursing-homes-legislator-says.html" target="_blank">Massachusetts</a>, <a href="https://starherald.com/news/state-and-regional/owner-of-lincoln-long-term-care-facility-defaults-fannie-mae-will-take-over/article_bc438086-7768-5b00-83b7-6d1f57d81c1c.html" target="_blank">Nebraska</a>, <a href="https://cbs6albany.com/news/coronavirus/ballston-spa-nursing-home-slated-to-close-will-stay-open-until-all-residents-have-moved" target="_blank">New York</a>, <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/providence-nursing-home-to-close-citing-covid-19-losses/" target="_blank">Rhode Island</a> and <a href="https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/health/legacy-lodge-closure-left-families-to-move-elderly-loved-ones-amid-pandemic/article_56902bcb-e988-5c39-bd0f-4c4ea9f096c3.html" target="_blank">Wyoming</a>. AHCA/NCAL estimates that more than <a href="https://d3dkdvqff0zqx.cloudfront.net/groups/ahca/attachments/protect%20access%20to%20long%20term%20care_ib.pdf" target="_blank">1,600 nursing homes</a> could close this year if nursing homes do not get the help they need. </div><div><br></div><div>Closures abruptly disrupt the lives of the residents, forcing them to find care that’s often further away from loved ones. For rural nursing homes, this is especially devastating. Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL, <a href="https://wwmt.com/news/i-team/nursing-home-closures" target="_blank">shared</a> that, “when a small facility closes, it’s very difficult for the residents, there usually isn't another building to move to that's two, three or four miles away, sometimes they have to move 10-20 miles to get to the next nursing home.”</div><div><br></div><div>Lawmakers must act now. AHCA and LeadingAge have proposed the <a href="/Advocacy/Pages/Care-For-Our-Seniors-Act.aspx" target="_blank">Care For Our Seniors Act</a> – a comprehensive reform proposal that will help address many of the long-standing challenges in America’s nursing homes. However, these policies will not be possible without significant investment from Congress and state governments – particularly Medicaid reimbursement reform.  </div><div><br></div><div>Millions of seniors depend on long term care. We must address these issues now to ensure that all nursing homes can keep their doors open and continue providing quality care to our most vulnerable population. It’s time to rally together and make long term care residents and staff a priority.</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>.<br></div>Chronic Medicaid underfunding has put nursing homes in a long-standing financial crisis, but financial challenges have worsened amid the pandemic.
Get Your Questions About the Vaccine Answered at the #GetVaccinated Virtual Townhallhttps://publish.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Get-Your-Questions-About-the-Vaccine-Answered-at-the-GetVaccinated-Virtual-Townhall.aspxGet Your Questions About the Vaccine Answered at the #GetVaccinated Virtual Townhall6/17/2021 4:00:00 AM<p><br><br></p><div>Still not sure about getting the COVID-19 vaccine? AHCA/NCAL will hold a virtual townhall event for long term care staff on <strong>Tuesday, June 22, 2021, from 4:30pm ET to 5:30pm ET</strong> as part of its nationwide <a href="https://getvaccinated.us/" target="_blank">#GetVaccinated</a> campaign.  </div><div><br></div><div>The COVID-19 vaccines have made a tremendous impact on the long term care sector, as cases and deaths have dropped to historic lows. Although we have come a long way, we know there is more work to do to improve vaccine confidence. </div><div><br></div><div>AHCA/NCAL is committed to ensuring that all long term care staff are equipped with the with the facts so they can make an informed decision. The virtual townhall will feature a panel of trusted medical professionals, including AHCA/NCAL Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Gifford, who will discuss the importance and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, and answer questions from attendees. Also hear directly from frontline caregivers in long term care about their experience. </div><div><br></div><div>The event is open to all staff and is free to attend. Click <a href="https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ghy9zKyMQ6q9yExyijCjVg" target="_blank">HERE</a> to register. It will also be livestreamed on AHCA/NCAL’s <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ahcancal" target="_blank">Facebook page</a>.  </div><div><br></div><div>If you’re already vaccinated, you can still participate! Tell us in the chat about your experience and why you decided to #GetVaccinated. Or share your story through the <a href="https://getvaccinated.us/stories/" target="_blank">#GetVaccinated website</a>. If you have colleagues have yet to get vaccinated, encourage them to attend!  </div><div><br></div><div>AHCA/NCAL’s #GetVaccinated campaign is funded in part by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help educate and encourage caregivers and staff at long term care facilities to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Visit <a href="https://getvaccinated.us/" target="_blank">www.getvaccinated.us​</a> for more information. <br></div>AHCA/NCAL will hold a virtual townhall event for long term care staff on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, from 4:30-5:30pm ET as part of its nationwide #GetVaccinated campaign.
CDC Recommends COVID-19 Negative Staff Avoid Working While Acutely Illhttps://publish.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/CDC-Recommends-COVID-19-Negative-Staff-Avoid-Working-While-Acutely-Ill.aspxCDC Recommends COVID-19 Negative Staff Avoid Working While Acutely Ill6/17/2021 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div>The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a <a href="https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/2021/pdf/CDC-HAN-443-Increased-Interseasonal-RSV-Activity-06.10.21.pdf" target="_blank">health advisory</a> regarding increased interseasonal respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity. The CDC recommends staff of long term care facilities should avoid reporting to work while acutely ill – even if they test negative for SARS-CoV-2. Also due to increased activity, the CDC encourages broader testing for RSV among patients with signs of acute respiratory illness who have tested negative for COVID-19.​<br><br></div>CDC) has issued a health advisory regarding increased interseasonal respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity.
HHS Releases Updated PRF Reporting Requirementshttps://publish.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/HHS-Releases-Updated-PRF-Reporting-Requirements.aspxHHS Releases Updated PRF Reporting Requirements6/11/2021 4:00:00 AM<div><span style="font-size:14.6667px;">​The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/provider-post-payment-notice-of-reporting-requirements-june-2021.pdf" target="_blank">released​</a> updated reporting requirements for recipients of Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments. With this announcement, HHS expands the amount of time providers will have to report information, aims to reduce burdens on smaller providers, and extends key deadlines for expending PRF payments for recipients who received payments after June 30, 2020. Some key updates include:</span></div><div><ul><li><span style="font-size:14.6667px;">The period of availability of funds is based on the date the payment is received (rather than requiring all payments be used by June 30, 2021, regardless of when they were received).</span></li><li><span style="font-size:14.6667px;">Recipients are required to report for each Payment Received Period in which they received one or more payments exceeding, in the aggregate, $10,000 (rather than $10,000 cumulatively across all PRF payments).</span></li><li><span style="font-size:14.6667px;">Recipients will have a 90-day period to complete reporting (rather than a 30-day reporting period).</span></li><li><span style="font-size:14.6667px;">​The PRF Reporting Portal will open for providers to start submitting information on July 1, 2021.</span></li></ul><div><div><span style="font-size:14.6667px;"><br></span></div><div><span style="font-size:14.6667px;"><strong>Summary of Reporting Requirement</strong>s</span></div><span style="font-size:11pt;">​</span><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/HHS-Releases-Updated-PRF-Reporting-Requirements/PRF%20Chart.jpg" alt="PRF Chart.jpg" style="font-size:11pt;margin:5px;" /></div></div><p>​<br></p>HHS has released​ updated reporting requirements for recipients of PRF payments.

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