Communications & News

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​AHCA/NCAL is at the forefront of the long term care profession, helping to shape the future of care for our nation’s seniors and individuals with disabilities. With this leadership comes responsibility to keep AHCA/NCAL members, the press, and the public informed on important issues that impact long term care.​​​​ 

Stay up to date on all the latest information by following our social media pages on 
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube​

​​​​​

 Untitled

 

 

New Study Shows Effectiveness of the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine in Nursing Home Settings, Reinforcing Need to Prioritize Residents and Staff for Ongoing Allocationshttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/New-Study-Shows-Effectiveness-of-the-Pfizer-COVID-19-Vaccine-in-Nursing-Home-Settings,-Reinforcing-Need-to-Prioritize-Resid.aspxNew Study Shows Effectiveness of the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine in Nursing Home Settings, Reinforcing Need to Prioritize Residents and Staff for Ongoing Allocations5/13/2021 4:00:00 AM<p>​<br></p><div>A new <a href="https://agsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jgs.17224" target="_blank">study</a> published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society by the Center for Health Policy and Evaluation in Long-Term Care (CHPE), the research division of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), finds that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are effective in reducing new cases and deaths among residents and staff in long term care. While previous studies have confirmed effectiveness among the general population, the CHPE study is the first to confirm effectiveness within nursing homes.</div><div><br></div><div>The study was conducted among 2,501 nursing homes that held a vaccine clinic from the first 17 states to initiate the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership for Long‐Term Care Program. CHPE researchers found that these nursing homes experienced reduced spread of COVID-19 among both residents and staff as well as a decline in deaths among residents after their first vaccination clinics, especially five to six weeks after the clinics. </div><div><br></div><div>Marsida Domi, senior research analyst at CHPE and lead author of the study <a href="https://www.mcknights.com/news/clinical-news/nursing-home-study-is-first-to-affirm-feds-choice-to-prioritize-residents-staff-for-vaccines/" target="_blank">said</a>, “This data is extremely encouraging and shows that the vaccines are working,” and added that the results have positive implications for the future quality of life in nursing homes as the pandemic continues. </div><div><br></div><div>The results of the study confirm continued calls for vaccine prioritization for long term care residents and staff for the foreseeable future. AHCA/NCAL has asked federal and state leaders to ensure that long term care residents and staff remain first in line and have rapid access to the vaccines. Nursing homes and assisted living communities regularly accept new residents and hire new staff members – many of whom may not yet be vaccinated. </div><div><br></div><div>With the findings of the study, ensuring as many residents and staff as possible get vaccinated has never been more important. AHCA/NCAL continues to promote vaccine education and uptake through their national <a href="https://getvaccinated.us/" target="_blank">#GetVaccinated</a> campaign. The campaign, launched with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has helped improve vaccine confidence, leading to an <a href="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/New-Survey-Finds-94-Percent-Increase-In-Willingness-Of-Long-Term-Care-Staff-To-Take-COVID-19-Vaccine.aspx" target="_blank">increase in willingness</a> among long term care staff to get vaccinated. AHCA is hopeful they will meet the industry’s nationwide goal to get <a href="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/Nursing-Homes-Set-Goal-To-Get-75-Percent-Of-Staff-Vaccinated-By-June-30.aspx" target="_blank">75 percent</a> of all nursing home staff vaccinated by June 30, 2021. <br></div><div><br></div><div>In addition to support from federal and state governments, members of the public must also do their part to contain the virus, as outbreaks within the general population are a direct threat to long term care residents and staff. This means getting vaccinated as soon as they are able and continuing to practice CDC guidelines when it comes to social distancing and wearing masks. </div><div><br></div><div>It has been a long road, but we cannot stop fighting until the pandemic is fully over. Lawmakers and public health officials must continue to make long term care their top priority for the vaccines and other resources, so we can protect our seniors and health care heroes on the frontlines.</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>A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society by the CHPE finds that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are effective in reducing new cases and deaths among residents and staff in long term care.
Strengthening Long Term Care Workforce Key to Providing Transformational Change in Nursing Homeshttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/Strengthening-Long-Term-Care-Workforce-Key-To-Providing-Transformational-Change-In-Nursing-Homes.aspxStrengthening Long Term Care Workforce Key to Providing Transformational Change in Nursing Homes5/11/2021 4:00:00 AM<p>​</p><div>The latest jobs report from the federal government renews the need to address the U.S. long term care workforce crisis. Axios <a href="https://www.axios.com/nursing-home-jobs-b7266746-66bc-4b34-b508-eff8890b5bc5.html" target="_blank">reported</a> yesterday, “Health care employment in the U.S. remained sluggish last month, with a drop of about 19,500 nursing and residential care facility jobs, according to the latest labor report.” The economic crisis caused by the pandemic is apparent, and while policymakers should take immediate action to protect health care jobs, we should also develop a more substantial plan to ensure our nation’s seniors have the caregivers they need. </div><div><br></div><div>This is especially important given our rapidly-growing elderly population and the anticipated increase in demand for long term care services. In fact, the federal government estimates nearly 27 million people will need some kind of long term care by 2050. Meanwhile, last week, the federal government reported historic declines in birth rates, leading many to <a href="https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05/amid-pandemic-u-s-birth-rate-falls-to-century-low.html" target="_blank">worry</a> whether we will have enough caregivers to support an aging America. </div><div><br></div><div>A strong workforce is a key element in improving quality of care in our nation’s nursing homes. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) has long called for policies that will help attract and retain the most dedicated to work in the profession – now it’s time to implement them. AHCA and LeadingAge’s comprehensive reform proposal, the <a href="/Advocacy/Pages/Care-For-Our-Seniors-Act.aspx" target="_blank">Care for Our Seniors Act</a>, offers several solutions that will help build a strong long term care workforce. Proposed solutions include:</div><div><br></div><div>Financial assistance: </div><div><ul><li>​Provide student loan forgiveness for licensed health care professionals who are new graduates and work in long term care.</li><li>Develop assistance programs for caregivers like affordable housing, housing down payments, and childcare.</li><li>Provide career ladder scholarships that would encourage staff to advance their career by becoming a registered nurse (RN) or other positions in aging services.</li><li>Funding for universities who have shown graduation rates with direct correlation to long term care hires with retention of two years or more.<br></li></ul></div><div>Regulatory solutions: </div><div><ul><li>Create a pathway (including training and testing) for temporary nurse aides allowed by the current Public Health Emergency to become certified nurse aides.</li><li>Ensure the Nurse Licensure Compact is available in every state to be able to "share" RNs across state borders.</li><li>Expedite the progression in licensed practical nurse to RN bridge programs to increase the number of RNs.</li><li>Pass common-sense immigration reform that increases opportunities for foreign-born individuals to work in the long term care profession. <span style="font-size:11pt;">Expand the ability for international nurses to come to the United States.</span></li></ul></div><div>The COVID-19 pandemic has exemplified the critical role of long term care workers within our health care system, and we must work together to support them. With the assistance from Members of Congress and state lawmakers, we can create more meaningful jobs, ensure our nursing homes are adequately staffed, and in turn, ensure that all seniors are able to receive the best care possible. </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>The latest jobs report from the federal government renews the need to address the U.S. long term care workforce crisis.
AHCA/NCAL Issues Statement Following CMS Interim Final Rule Announcementhttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/AHCANCAL-Issues-Statement-Following-CMS-Interim-Final-Rule-Announcement.aspxAHCA/NCAL Issues Statement Following CMS Interim Final Rule Announcement5/11/2021 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div>WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and long term care facilities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released a statement following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) interim final rule announcement on COVID-19 vaccine requirements.</div><div><br></div><div>The statement is attributable to Dr. David Gifford, chief medical officer of AHCA/NCAL:</div><div><br></div><div>“We have been supportive of publicly reporting COVID-19 vaccination rates in long term care since the vaccines were first approved, and we greatly appreciate CMS taking this step today. Reporting vaccination rates is critical to facilitating in-person visitations in nursing homes, tracking the effectiveness of the vaccines, and helping ensure the industry meets our goal to vaccinate 75 percent of staff by the end of June.</div><div> </div><div>“It is important that we not judge facilities with low vaccination rates, but instead, seek to understand whether additional resources or outreach can be done to encourage more staff and residents to get the vaccine, or help facilities acquire additional vaccines for new patients and hires.</div><div> </div><div>“We believe transparency on vaccination rates should be expanded to all Medicare providers, including hospitals, home health, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities, where many of our nation’s seniors may also receive care and the virus can still remain a threat. All Medicare providers should have a streamlined effort to report their vaccination rates.”</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>AHCA/NCAL released a statement following the CMS interim final rule announcement on COVID-19 vaccine requirements.
National Skilled Nursing Care Week Kicks off May 9-15https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/National-Skilled-Nursing-Care-Week-Kicks-off-May-9-15.aspxNational Skilled Nursing Care Week Kicks off May 9-155/7/2021 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div><strong>WASHINGTON, D.C.</strong> –National Skilled Nursing Care Week (NSNCW) kicks off this Sunday, May 9, through Saturday, May 15. The annual observance shines a light on the essential role of skilled nursing centers in caring for America’s elderly and disabled. </div><div><br></div><div>This year’s theme, “Together Through the Seasons,” recognizes the heroic staff in skilled nursing centers across the nation for their dedication and sacrifice in keeping residents safe and protected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the many challenges faced, including lockdowns and the lack of personal protective equipment, staff also stepped in to provide emotional support to residents and their families impacted by visitation restrictions and social distancing rules.  </div><div><br></div><div>“National Skilled Nursing Care Week is more special this year than any other year,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA). “As we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, let’s take time this coming week to reflect, honor and celebrate every long term care staff member for their tireless commitment to caring for and protecting our vulnerable residents against one of the deadliest diseases in recent history.”</div><div><br></div><div>Created by AHCA in 1967, NSNCW is a time to celebrate staff and the special bonds they share with residents and their families. The week starts each year on Mother’s Day and is celebrated through the following Saturday.</div><div><br></div><div>Skilled nursing centers are encouraged to participate by hosting activities that follow the latest guidelines and share how they are celebrating being “Together Through the Seasons” on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/NationalSkilledNursingCareWeek/">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/ahcancal" target="_blank">Twitter</a> using the hashtag <strong>#NSNCW</strong>.  </div><div><br></div><div>NSNCW 2021 is proudly sponsored by Essity. For more information about NSNCW, please visit <a href="/Education-Events/Pages/NSNCW.aspx" target="_blank">www.ahcancal.org/NSNCW</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) represent 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>NSNCW kicks off this Sunday, May 9, through Saturday, May 15.Annual Observance Honors The Essential Role Of Skilled Nursing Centers In Caring For America’s Elderly And Disabled

  • Updated List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE) Database File-April 2021
    5.12.2021
    The US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released its updated List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE) database file, which reflects all OIG exclusions and reinstatement actions taken in April 2021.
    Read More
  • Nursing Home Staff Awarded 2021 McKnight Prize for Healthcare Outbreak Heroes
    5.12.2021
    Nursing home staff have always been our nation’s unsung heroes.
    Read More
  • Governor Declares May 12 as California Skilled Nursing Recognition Day
    5.12.2021
    California Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared May 12, 2021 as California Skilled Nursing Recognition Day to honor the remarkable dedication and sacrifice of workers in skilled nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Read More
  • Safe Access A Big Concern in Designing for the Future
    5.11.2021
    Memory care building design has always been about limiting exit points and the risk of elopement, but in pandemic mode,
    Read More

 Featured Video

​Reports & Newsletters

 Members-Only Newsletters

Capitol Connection
Get the latest on issues happening on Capitol Hill and throughout Washington, as well as AHCA/NCAL events and programs in this biweekly email.


 
NCAL Connections
NCAL's version of Capitol Connection, NCAL Connections offers the latest on issues happening in Washington, as well as events and programs specifically tailored for assisted living providers.

 ID/DD and NFP Providers

ID/DD Digest
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD) Digest is a monthly publication for ID/DD service providers. Content includes information ranging from events, AHCA’s ID/DD grassroots efforts, AHCA’s ID/DD Committee focuses and work, and other important updates impacting providers and the individuals they serve in ICF/IID and group homes for ID/DD. ​To receive ID/DD Digest, please contact Dana Ritchie.
NFP News
Not for Profit (NFP) News is a monthly publications for NFP service providers. Content includes information ranging from AHCA’s annual Congressional Briefing fly-in event, AHCA’s NFP Day at the AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo, AHCA’s work with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and other important updates. ​​To receive NFP News, please contact Dana Ritchie.