AHCA/NCAL Issues Statement Ahead of Senate Finance Committee Hearing on COVID-19 in Nursing Homes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – 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 the following statement ahead of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee’s hearing, “A National Tragedy: COVID-19 in the Nation’s Nursing Homes.” 

The statement is attributable to Dr. David Gifford, chief medical officer of AHCA/NCAL: 

“We appreciate Members of the Senate Finance Committee holding this hearing to examine the impact this historic pandemic has had on our long term care residents and staff. We are eager to discuss the lessons learned and how we can work together to transform long term care moving forward. 

“COVID-19 has affected every aspect of long term care. The age and underlying health conditions of our residents, the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of the virus, and the lack of prioritization for critical resources at the outset led to tens of thousands losing their lives. 

“We must ensure that the tragedies we have experienced never happen again. The pandemic has magnified long-standing challenges we have called attention to for years. We have partnered with LeadingAge on the Care for Our Seniors Act, a package of reforms that we believe can help protect seniors, ensure access to quality care, and support better pandemic management. We look forward to speaking to Members of the committee, and hope that Wednesday’s hearing is the start of a meaningful discussion on strengthening long term care." 

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.