Nursing Home Industry Reacts to the Biden Administration’s Nursing Home Reform Plan

COVID-19; Regulations

The American Health Care Association (AHCA), 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 the following statement in reaction to the Biden Administration’s nursing home reform plan that will be announced at the State of the Union on Tuesday. 

The statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA:  

“The nursing home profession has always been committed to improving the quality of care our residents receive, and we appreciate the Biden Administration joining us in this ongoing effort. Over the last decade and prior to the pandemic, the sector made dramatic improvements. Fewer people were returning to the hospital, staff were providing more one-on-one care than ever before, and the unnecessary use of antipsychotic medications significantly declined. 

“Those who continue to criticize the nursing home sector are the same people who refuse to prioritize our residents and staff for resources that will help save and improve lives. Additional oversight without corresponding assistance will not improve resident care. To make real improvements, we need policymakers to prioritize investing in this chronically underfunded health care sector and support providers’ improvement on the metrics that matter for residents.  

“Long term care was already dealing with a workforce shortage prior to COVID, and the pandemic exacerbated the crisis. We would love to hire more nurses and nurse aides to support the increasing needs of our residents. However, we cannot meet additional staffing requirements when we can’t find people to fill the open positions nor when we don’t have the resources to compete against other employers.  

“It’s time to stop blaming nursing homes for a once-in-a-century pandemic that uniquely targeted our residents and vilifying the heroic caregivers who did everything they could to protect the residents they have come to know as family. Together, we should focus on meaningful solutions that can attract and retain the frontline heroes we need and strengthen delivering the quality of care and services that our nation’s seniors deserve. Providers are dedicated to learning from this pandemic, renewing our commitment to our seniors, and offering solutions that will improve the quality of care in our nation’s nursing homes. With the proper resources and support, we can transform our nation’s nursing homes.”