AHCA/NCAL Issues Statement Following CMS Interim Final Rule Announcement

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.

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

“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.
 
“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.
 
“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.”

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.