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Nursing Homes Set Goal To Get 75% Of Staff Vaccinated By June 30aspx2/25/2021 5:00:00 AM<p></p><div><strong>WASHINGTON, D.C.</strong> – 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, and LeadingAge, the association of more than 5,000 mission-driven aging services providers including nursing homes, announced today, with the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nationwide goal of getting 75 percent of the approximately 1.5 million nursing home staff vaccinated by June 30, 2021.</div><div>&#160;</div><div>“With COVID-19 vaccinations being distributed across long term care facilities over the past two months, we have already seen a decline in cases in nursing homes, indicating that the vaccines are working,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “Many of our staff continue to be excited about the vaccines and the hope they represent, but some caregivers still have questions. We are continuing to inform our staff about the credibility and safety of the vaccines through our #GetVaccinated campaign, and we hope this goal will further encourage more of our staff members to get the vaccine.”</div><div><br></div><div>In December, AHCA/NCAL launched <a href="/News-and-Communications/Pages/GetVaccinated.aspx" target="_blank">#GetVaccinated​</a>, a nationwide campaign that aims to encourage all long term care residents, families and staff members to consent to the vaccine as well as provide credible information to help inform their decision.</div><div><br></div><div>“Achieving a high rate of staff vaccinations will be a game changer for nursing homes. Real progress has been made in vaccinating nursing home residents. Now we must also achieve high rates of staff vaccinations,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge. “It’s critical to acknowledge the reasons for vaccine hesitancy are real and varied, and staff concerns must be understood and thoughtfully addressed as we work toward this goal. LeadingAge is committed to doing all we can with our partners and the Administration to ensure staff at our mission-driven members—at nursing homes and other care settings—have the information, conversations and support they need to get vaccinated.”</div><div><br></div><div>LeadingAge, in partnership with the <a href="https&#58;//blackcoalitionagainstcovid.org/" target="_blank">Black Coalition Against COVID</a> (BCAC), is sponsoring a national town hall Thursday, March 4 to address concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine among all levels of staff working in aging services communities. The association also regularly <a href="https&#58;//leadingage.org/covid-19-vaccine-information-and-resources" target="_blank">shares important vaccin​e resources</a> and hosts special webinars to connect members with experts on vaccine education.</div><div><br></div><div>According to a preliminary <a href="/Data-and-Research/Center-for-HPE/Documents/CHPE-Report-Vaccine-Effectiveness-Feb2021.pdf" target="_blank">analysis</a>, COVID cases decreased at a faster rate among nursing homes that had completed their first vaccine clinic, compared to those nearby that had not yet administered the vaccine in the first month of the vaccine rollout. Recent Centers for Medicare &amp; Medicaid Services (CMS) data shows cases and deaths in nursing homes are declining rapidly, which hopefully indicates the vaccines are reducing the spread of the virus, according to AHCA/NCAL.</div><div>&#160;</div><div>“We look forward to working with President Biden’s Administration and the CDC to make this goal happen,” added Parkinson. “We cannot chance slowing the positive progress we have already made. Long term care facilities have been at the forefront of the pandemic since the beginning and our staff care for some of the most susceptible to the virus, making it even more imperative that their caregivers get vaccinated. The sooner we can get more of our staff vaccinated, the sooner we will be able to defeat this deadly virus.”</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>.&#160;<br></div><div><br></div><div><strong>ABOUT LEADINGAGE</strong></div><div>We represent more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers and other mission-minded organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we use applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building to make America a better place to grow old. Our membership, which now includes the providers of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, encompasses the continuum of services for people as they age, including those with disabilities. We bring together the most inventive minds in the field to lead and innovate solutions that support older adults wherever they call home. For more information visit <a href="https&#58;//www.leadingage.org/" target="_blank">leadingage.org</a>.<br></div>Long Term Care Providers Are Encouraging Staff To Receive Vaccinations To Protect Fellow Colleagues And Vulnerable Older ResidentsAHCA/NCAL and LeadingAge announced today, with the help of the CDC, the nationwide goal of getting 75% of the approximately 1.5 million nursing home staff vaccinated by June 30, 2021.
Long Term Care Providers Need Help From Congress To Defeat COVID-19aspx2/22/2021 5:00:00 AM<p></p><div>The long term care industry has been one of the hardest hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. The residents of nursing homes and assisted living communities are more susceptible to the virus because of their age and underlying health conditions, leading to devastating losses nationwide. While vaccines are bringing hope to millions who live and work in long term care, the pandemic is far from over and will remain at the center of how these facilities operate for the foreseeable future.</div><div><br></div><div>COVID-19 has left an indelible mark and pushed the long term care industry to the financial brink. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) conducted an <a href="https&#58;//d3dkdvqff0zqx.cloudfront.net/groups/ahca/attachments/protect%20access%20to%20long%20term%20care_ib.pdf" target="_blank">analysis</a> that estimates that the nursing home industry is projected to lose $94 billion over a two-year period (2020-2021).</div><div><br></div><div>All long term care providers have had to deal with increased costs of care, including routine COVID testing, personal protective equipment (PPE) and staffing. Coupled with declining revenue and historically underfunded Medicaid reimbursement rates, providers are operating on shoe-string budgets. Thousands of facilities may be forced to close their doors in 2021 without additional financial resources. This threatens access to long term care for tens of thousands of frail seniors and individuals with disabilities who require round-the-clock care.</div><div><br></div><div>Congress must focus on America’s most vulnerable population and their dedicated caregivers. The pandemic is not yet behind us, and long term care providers must have the necessary resources to continue protecting residents and staff. As discussions around the next COVID relief package continue, AHCA/NCAL is requesting lawmakers to prioritize the long term care industry by&#58;</div><div><br></div><div><ol><li>Continuing to make long term care residents and workers a top priority for vaccine distribution.</li><li>Allocating $20 billion to the long term care industry either through an enhanced Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage for long-term services and supports, or through a dedicated portion to the Provider Relief Fund.</li><li>Continuing to prioritize long term care facilities' access to testing and proper equipment.</li></ol></div><div><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;">Long term care providers continue to do all they can to keep staff and residents safe. The vaccines are making a positive impact, but the virus is still a considerable threat. Nursing homes and assisted living communities need lawmakers to act now. We must rally together to put dedicated frontline workers and vulnerable residents first.&#160;</span><br></div><div><br></div><div><strong>A</strong><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;"><strong>BOUT AHCA/NCAL</strong><br></span><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;">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 </span><a href="/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank" style="font-size&#58;11pt;">www.ahcancal.org​</a><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;">​.</span></div>The long term care industry has been one of the hardest hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 Exacerbates Financial Challenges Of Long Term Care Facilitiesaspx2/17/2021 5:00:00 AM<p></p><div>Long term care facilities continue to dedicate extensive resources in order to protect their residents and staff from the COVID-19 pandemic. The cost of personal protective equipment (PPE), routine testing and staff support have severely strained providers’ budgets. For many providers, financial challenges have existed for years. But in the wake of the pandemic, long term care facilities are in a crisis – and many are at risk of permanently closing unless they receive help.</div><div><br></div><div>The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) conducted an <a href="https&#58;//d3dkdvqff0zqx.cloudfront.net/groups/ahca/attachments/protect%20access%20to%20long%20term%20care_ib.pdf" target="_blank">analysis</a> that estimated that the long term care industry is expected to lose $94 billion over a two-year period (2020-2021). In 2020, nursing homes spent roughly $30 billion on PPE and additional staffing alone.</div><div><br></div><div>The analysis also estimated that more than 1,600 nursing homes could close in 2021 without financial assistance — more than 10 times the number of facilities that closed last year. The average nursing home has the capacity to serve approximately 100 residents.</div><div><br></div><div>Declining occupancy due to fewer new residents is also fueling the crisis. AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson called it a “business nightmare.” Parkinson said in a recent <a href="https&#58;//www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/news/business-daily-news/parkinson-skilled-nursing-still-amid-business-nightmare/" target="_blank">interview</a>, “In three short months, we’ve gone from 71% to 67% … We need census to recover at a rate of about 1% a month, and while that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s not as easy as it might seem … If the census doesn’t recover at all, or recover slower than that, the sector has a real problem.”</div><div><br></div><div>Financial burdens have become too difficult to overcome for many providers. Facilities continue to shutter, leaving thousands of vulnerable seniors in search of new care. Most residents have multiple underlying health conditions and require a high-level of around-the-clock, specialized care. Closures leave residents displaced from their long-standing communities and loved ones, and reduce their options for quality care, especially in rural areas.</div><div><br></div><div>The struggle to stay open has been document in stories nationwide in <a href="https&#58;//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&#58;//www.wane.com/news/bluffton-nursing-home-closes-its-doors-two-weeks-early/" target="_blank">Indiana</a>, <a href="https&#58;//www.courant.com/coronavirus/hc-news-coronavirus-waterbury-nursing-home-closed-20201202-ci4vnfvey5c4xkq7vtcsb33sae-story.html" target="_blank">Connecticut</a>, <a href="https&#58;//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&#58;//www.themorningsun.com/news/masonic-home-to-permanently-close-warwick-living-center/article_24b779a2-4f85-11eb-98c7-3bb4ca4819de.html" target="_blank">Kansas</a>, <a href="https&#58;//www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/2020/07/nursing-home-employees-shocked-after-learning-about-facilitys-closure-in-mlive-article.html" target="_blank">Michigan</a>, <a href="https&#58;//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&#58;//www.unionleader.com/news/health/merrimack-assisted-living-facility-closing-its-doors/article_ac8b9f8b-ee5e-55cf-a155-0ddc4d46c2ac.html" target="_blank">New Hampshire</a>, <a href="https&#58;//cbs6albany.com/news/coronavirus/ballston-spa-nursing-home-slated-to-close-will-stay-open-until-all-residents-have-moved" target="_blank">New York</a>,​ and <a href="https&#58;//www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/providence-nursing-home-to-close-citing-covid-19-losses/" target="_blank">Rhode Island</a>.</div><div><br></div><div>The need for financial assistance is urgent. Long term care providers are working around the clock to protect our most vulnerable citizens, and they must be made a priority. AHCA/NCAL is urging Congress to rally around America’s long term care residents and their caregivers by&#58;</div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>Continuing to make long term care residents and workers a top priority for vaccine distribution.</li><li>Allocating $20 billion to the long term care industry either through an enhanced Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage for long-term services and supports, or through a dedicated portion to the Provider Relief Fund.</li><li>Continuing to prioritize long term care facilities’ access to testing and proper equipment.</li></ul></div><div><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;">This financial support will bring much-needed relief and enable providers to keep residents and staff safe. While progress has been made, there is still a long road ahead. Long term care providers need adequate funding so they have the proper tools to protect residents and staff from the virus, and to continue delivering the high-quality care seniors depend on.</span><br></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>Long term care facilities continue to dedicate extensive resources in order to protect their residents and staff from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Long Term Care Faces Worst Financial Crisis In Years; Closures Loom Without Additional Fundingaspx2/11/2021 5:00:00 AM<p><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;">Long term care residents and staff have been at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning. From increased routine testing to hiring additional staff and purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE), providers have dedicated extensive resources to fight this virus. These additional costs have magnified the financial shortfalls facilities faced for years prior to the pandemic, and now many are at risk of shutting down for good.<br></span><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;"><br>The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) conducted an <a href="https&#58;//d3dkdvqff0zqx.cloudfront.net/groups/ahca/attachments/protect%20access%20to%20long%20term%20care_ib.pdf" target="_blank">ana​lysis</a> that estimated that the long term care industry is expected to lose $94 billion over a two-year period (2020-2021). Last year, nursing homes spend roughly $30 billion on PPE and additional staffing alone.<br></span><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;"><br>In addition to increased expenditures, long term care facilities have suffered a sharp decline in occupancy – a situation AHCA/CNAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson called a “business nightmare.” In a recent <a href="https&#58;//www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/news/business-daily-news/parkinson-skilled-nursing-still-amid-business-nightmare/" target="_blank">interview</a>, Parkinson said, “In three short months, we’ve gone from 71% to 67% … We need census to recover at a rate of about 1% a month, and while that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s not as easy as it might seem … If the census doesn’t recover at all, or recover slower than that, the sector has a real problem.”<br></span><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;"><br>The same AHCA/NCAL analysis estimated that without immediate assistance, more than 1,600 nursing homes could close in 2021—more than 10 times the number of facilities that closed last year. The average nursing home has the capacity to serve approximately 100 residents.<br></span><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;"><br>Emmett Reed, executive director of the Florida Health Care Association, also <a href="https&#58;//www.news4jax.com/news/local/2021/02/04/florida-nursing-homes-facing-financial-crisis/" target="_blank">stressed</a> the impact declining occupancy has had on finances. In a committee hearing before the Florida State Senate, Reed said, “If we don’t start to see occupancy increase over the next six or seven months, maybe even less, you’re going to start seeing nursing homes in a very dire situation financially. It’s just, the margins are razor-thin.”<br></span><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;"><br>With increased costs of care and a decline in residents, many facilities will no longer be able to afford to run their facilities, leaving thousands of elderly individuals displaced and forced to find new care. Pandemic-related closures continue to occur across the country. Long term care providers in <a href="https&#58;//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&#58;//www.wane.com/news/bluffton-nursing-home-closes-its-doors-two-weeks-early/" target="_blank">Indiana</a>, <a href="https&#58;//www.courant.com/coronavirus/hc-news-coronavirus-waterbury-nursing-home-closed-20201202-ci4vnfvey5c4xkq7vtcsb33sae-story.html" target="_blank">Connecticut</a>, <a href="https&#58;//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&#58;//newcountry991.com/estes-park-nursing-home-faces-possible-closure/" target="_blank">Colorado</a>, <a href="https&#58;//www.themorningsun.com/news/masonic-home-to-permanently-close-warwick-living-center/article_24b779a2-4f85-11eb-98c7-3bb4ca4819de.html" target="_blank">Kansas</a>, <a href="https&#58;//www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/2020/07/nursing-home-employees-shocked-after-learning-about-facilitys-closure-in-mlive-article.html" target="_blank">Michigan</a>, <a href="https&#58;//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&#58;//www.unionleader.com/news/health/merrimack-assisted-living-facility-closing-its-doors/article_ac8b9f8b-ee5e-55cf-a155-0ddc4d46c2ac.html" target="_blank">New Hampshire</a>, <a href="https&#58;//cbs6albany.com/news/coronavirus/ballston-spa-nursing-home-slated-to-close-will-stay-open-until-all-residents-have-moved" target="_blank">New York</a> and <a href="https&#58;//www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/providence-nursing-home-to-close-citing-covid-19-losses/" target="_blank">Rhode Island</a> have made the difficult decision to permanently close their doors.<br></span><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;"><br>The country cannot afford to wait for more closures and force seniors to search for new care options before providing assistance. We must act now. AHCA/NCAL is urging Congress to prioritize long term care residents and staff by allocating $20 billion in funding, either through an enhanced Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage for long-term services and support, or through a dedicated portion to the Provider Relief Fund. This financial support will bring much-needed relief and enable providers to continue to protecting residents and staff. America’s most vulnerable population and their dedicated caregivers cannot fight this fight alone.</span></p><div><br></div><div><strong>ABOUT AHCA/NCAL</strong><br></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>Additional costs from COVID-19 have magnified the financial shortfalls facilities faced for years prior to the pandemic, and now many are at risk of shutting down for good.
COVID Cases In Long Term Care Facilities Declining As New Data Indicates The Vaccine May Reduce Spreadaspx2/4/2021 5:00:00 AM<p>​</p><div>Long term care facilities have been at the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Heroic caregivers have been working around the clock to protect residents and staff, but because of the vulnerability of residents and the pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic spread of the virus, long term care residents account for nearly 40 percent of COVID-related deaths in the United States, while comprising only six percent of total cases.</div><div><br></div><div>But there is good news. With cases declining among the general population and widespread vaccine distribution underway, COVID-19 cases in long term care facilities are also declining.</div><div><br></div><div>The most recent week of complete <a href="/Data-and-Research/Pages/default.aspx#covid-dashboard" target="_blank">data</a> from the federal government shows that among nursing home residents, new weekly cases have declined by 22 percent over three weeks between December 20 and January 10. Nursing homes were experiencing record-breaking cases and deaths in November and December due to high community spread leading into the fall and through the holidays. While this decline is encouraging, long term care facilities are still experiencing higher weekly cases and deaths than the Sun Belt surge last summer, signaling the need for ongoing vigilance and vaccinations.</div><div><br></div><div>Fortunately, every state has activated its vaccination program for long term care facilities, and more than half of nursing homes have completed their second clinics.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>The Vaccine Is Working, May Prevent Spread</strong></div><div><br></div><div>While the vaccines’ are 95 percent effective in preventing serve illness due to COVID-19, their ability to reduce spread and infections is currently unknown. However, a new <a href="/Data-and-Research/Center-for-HPE/Documents/CHPE-Report-Vaccine-Effectiveness-Feb2021.pdf" target="_blank">analysis</a> by the Center for Health Policy Evaluation in Long Term Care (CHPE), the research division of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), found that COVID-19 cases decreased at a faster rate among both residents and staff at nursing homes that had completed their first vaccine clinic, compared to nursing homes that had not yet administered the vaccine.</div><div><br></div><div>CHPE examined data from 797 nursing homes that conducted their first vaccination clinic between December 18, 2020 and December 27, 2020 and compared it to nursing homes in the same county that had not yet conducted a clinic (1,709 facilities). The analysis found&#58;</div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>Vaccinated nursing homes experienced a 48 percent decline in new resident cases three weeks after the first clinic, compared to a 21 percent decline among non-vaccinated nursing homes located in the same county.<br></li></ul></div><div><ul><li>Similarly, new staff cases declined by 33 percent in vaccinated nursing homes compared to 18 percent in non-vaccinated facilities.</li></ul></div><div><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;">“The decline in new cases three weeks after the first dose, compared to facilities having vaccine clinics later, is encouraging and signals that the vaccine may decrease the spread of COVID, a finding not shown in the trials. If verified with additional data, this could expedite the reopening of long term care facilities to visitors, which is vital to residents’ health and wellbeing. Given the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on long term care residents, we must continue to prioritize vaccinating the elderly in these settings,” said Dr. David Gifford, Chief Medical Officer for AHCA/NCAL.</span><br></div><div><br></div><div>“We are excited to see this trend and hope to see it confirmed as we look at facilities whose clinics started later. We are also hoping to learn more about whether the decline in deaths is associated with vaccination,” said Marsida Domi, Senior Research Analyst, AHCA/NCAL.</div><div><br></div><div>The CHPE analysis is the first to look at the relationship between the COVID-19 vaccines and spread in long term care.</div><div><br></div><div>This preliminary data underscores the need for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other researchers to further evaluate the effectiveness of this vaccine on preventing spread and illness among long term care residents and staff. The sooner we can gather conclusive results of the vaccines’ efficacy, the sooner providers can reopen their facilities and reunite families.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Slowing Community Spread Is Helping</strong></div><div><br></div><div>Decline in community spread is also contributing to the decline in cases in long term care facilities. Throughout the pandemic, AHCA/NCAL has repeatedly pointed to independent research that shows the correlation between community spread and the likelihood of outbreaks in long term care facilities.</div><div><br></div><div>A <a href="https&#58;//www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/pdfs/mm7002e2-H.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> released by the CDC last month confirmed that trends in community infections from COVID-19 align with cases throughout nursing homes. The report examined the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) data from May 25 through November 22, 2020. The CDC found that COVID-19 rates increased in nursing homes in June and July and again in November, similar to trends found within the surrounding communities. The CDC report aligns with similar <a href="/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/FactSheets/Analysis-COVID-Outbreaks-in-Nursing-Homes.pdf" target="_blank">research</a> conducted by experts at some of our nation’s top academic institutions, including Harvard University, Brown University and The University of Chicago.</div><div><br></div><div>The downward trend in cases is encouraging, but underscores the importance of remaining vigilant. The general public must keep doing their part to keep community spread down. Wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and practicing proper hygiene will help minimize potential outbreaks in our communities.</div><div><br></div><div>In addition, long term care residents and staff must continue to be prioritized. As the vaccines become available to more Americans, ensuring high vaccination rates is equally important, especially as new strains emerge. AHCA/NCAL is also asking Congress for $100 billion to the Provider Relief Fund and dedicate a substantial portion of this fund to long term care so providers have the supplies, testing and staffing they need.</div><div><br></div><div>The fight against the pandemic is not over. We must continue to do all that we can to protect our most vulnerable citizens and frontline workers.</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>Long term care facilities have been at the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Long Term Care Providers Call For Workforce Support Amid Pandemicaspx2/2/2021 5:00:00 AM<p>​</p><div>Long term care providers were already facing a workforce shortage prior to COVID, and the pandemic has only exacerbated this crisis. For nearly a year, workers across the health care sector – including those in long term care facilities – have been stretched thin, working around the clock to protect those in their care. Heroic caregivers have taken on countless hours of overtime and double shifts to make up for widespread shortages. Despite increasing burnout, they have never wavered from their commitment to keep vulnerable seniors safe.<br></div><div><br></div><div>An <a href="https&#58;//uspirgedfund.org/feature/usf/nursing-home-safety-during-covid-staff-shortages" target="_blank">analysis</a> of government data by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund found that workforce shortages persist. Their report found&#58;</div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>More than 3,000 U.S. nursing homes last month had a shortage of nurses or other direct-care staff, and it’s a crippling problem that has existed since last May.</li></ul></div><div>&#160;</div><div><ul><li>For most of last year, more than 200,000 people at any given time were in nursing homes that themselves acknowledged they were suffering from staff shortages.</li></ul></div><div>&#160;</div><div><ul><li>The number of facilities reporting shortages of nurses, aides or clinical staff actually increased from May to December. By early December, 23 percent of homes reported a shortage of at least one category of direct-care staff.<br><br></li></ul></div><div><ul><li>Staff shortages also fueled more COVID outbreaks in nursing homes among residents and staff.&#160; More cases mean more stress for workers, more workers who contract the virus or are exposed and then, even more staff shortages.</li></ul></div><div>Dr. David Gifford, chief medical officer of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), said in the report, “COVID-19 is taking a considerable toll, physically and emotionally, on our health care heroes in long term care … Burnout is a real concern for all health care workers during this pandemic.”</div><div><br></div><div>Long term care provides have been <a href="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/AHCANCAL-Provides-Roadmap-to-Governors-to-Address-Long-Term-Care-Workforce-Needs-During-Pandemic.aspx" target="_blank">calling for help</a> since the beginning of the pandemic. A new <a href="https&#58;//www.mcknights.com/news/nursing-home-sector-continues-to-lose-jobs-while-healthcare-overall-rebounds-report/" target="_blank">report</a> released this month by nonprofit research and consulting group Altarum found that nursing and residential care facilities lost 13,000 jobs during the month of December, and 264,000 jobs overall since February – a 7.8 percent drop in employment when compared to pre-pandemic levels. In comparison, the health care sector gained 39,000 jobs in December after gaining 31,000 in November.</div><div><br></div><div>As a first step to address this crisis, Congress must pass another COVID relief package as soon as possible. AHCA/NCAL has asked Congress to approve $100 billion to the Provider Relief Fund and dedicate a substantial portion of this fund to long term care. This funding will help providers with the ongoing costs of fighting the virus, including staffing. Keeping health care heroes safe on the job is critical as well, which is why AHCA/NCAL is also calling on lawmakers to ensure long term care is an ongoing priority for resources, like personal protective equipment.</div><div><br></div><div>Additionally, we must work together toward long-term solutions that will address workforce shortages. AHCA/NCAL has long advocated for programs to help attract and retain new talent. With a growing elderly population, many will rely on long term care for their health care needs, and we must be able to meet the expected increase in demand.</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>Long term care providers were already facing a workforce shortage prior to COVID, and the pandemic has only exacerbated this crisis.
As Pandemic Continues, Long Term Care Providers Need Additional Resources And Reliefaspx2/1/2021 5:00:00 AM<p></p><div>Community spread of COVID-19 continues to put the health and safety of long term care residents and staff in jeopardy. A recent <a href="https&#58;//www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7002e2.htm?s_cid=mm7002e2_w" target="_blank">report</a> from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that trends in reported COVID-19 cases among nursing home residents and staff members were similar to trends in incidence of COVID-19 in surrounding communities.</div><div><br></div><div>Vaccine distribution is a reason to be optimistic, but it will take time to fully vaccinate long term care residents and staff, as well as the remaining public. The virus is still poses a serious threat, and we cannot become complacent. Congress must prioritize vulnerable seniors and frontline workers as the pandemic continues.</div><div><br></div><div>The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) is urging Congress to pass another COVID relief bill that includes aid for long term care. Specifically, AHCA/NCAL is asking for $100 billion to the Provider Relief Fund, with a substantial portion dedicated to long term care. AHCA/NCAL is also calling on Congress to ensure that long term care facilities are prioritized for other critical resources, including continued testing and proper personal protective equipment (PPE).</div><div><br></div><div>Long term care providers have suffered significant financial hardships due to the pandemic. The high cost of testing, PPE and staff support has caused tremendous strain on budgets. Staffing has been the top cost in response to COVID-19, with nine out of 10 nursing homes hiring additional staff and/or paying staff overtime. Admissions have declined, and the growing number of empty beds has fueled financial losses.</div><div><br></div><div>As a result, 90 percent of nursing homes are currently operating at a loss, and two-thirds of nursing home providers say they will not be able to sustain operations for another year at the current cost. The financial outlook is similar for assisted living communities, who have received minimal federal aid to help with pandemic-related costs. More than half of assisted living communities are operating at a loss, and a similar percentage fear they will be forced to close within a year without further assistance. Additional relief funding will help alleviate these financial challenges to help ensure facilities can keep their doors open and continue serving seniors and individuals with disabilities who need round-the-clock care.</div><div><br></div><div>We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes that were made at the outset of the pandemic. Long term care workers continue to do everything in their power to protect their residents, but they need ongoing support. Additional funding from Congress will ensure they have the resources necessary to continue the fight. Congress must act now and put long term care first.</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>Community spread of COVID-19 continues to put the health and safety of long term care residents and staff in jeopardy.
As 117th Congress Gets Underway, Focus Must Remain on Prioritizing Long Term Care Through the Pandemicaspx1/21/2021 5:00:00 AM<p>​</p><div>As members of the 117th Congress begin their work in Washington, D.C., lawmakers will have numerous proposals on their legislative agendas. But as the country continues to battle COVID-19, residents and staff in long term care must remain a top focus.</div><div><br></div><div>Long term care facilities have been at the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of the heroic work of dedicated caregivers across the country, nursing home, assisted living, and other long term care residents account for nearly 40 percent of COVID-related deaths in the United States, while comprising only six percent of total cases.&#160;</div><div><br></div><div>Long term care residents are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, yet many providers still face significant challenges nearly a year into their response to the pandemic. Congress must make long term care residents and frontline workers a priority within the health care system.&#160;</div><div><br></div><div>The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) is urging Congress to add another $100 billion to the Provider Relief Fund, as was passed in the HEROES Act last year, and allocate $20 billion of this fund to long term care. Additionally, AHCA/NCAL calls on lawmakers to ensure long term care facilities are prioritized for access to testing and proper personal protective equipment—critical resources needed to combat COVID-19 in facilities.&#160;</div><div><br></div><div>Read more below on specific areas within the long term care sector that require immediate attention from lawmakers on Capitol Hill.&#160;&#160;</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Continuing To Fight The Pandemic</strong>&#160;</div><div><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;">While vaccine distribution has begun in long term care facilities nationwide, there is still a long road ahead. Residents and staff must continue to be prioritized for the vaccines, as well as the tools they need to win the war, namely adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), timely testing and staffing support. This is especially important as cases continue to rise among the general population and long term care facilities experience a record-breaking number of cases and deaths. Ongoing support from the federal government is critical in order for providers to continue protectin</span><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;">g residents and staff.&#160;</span><br></div><div><br></div><div><strong>Staffing</strong>&#160;</div><div>Staffing shortages have been an ongoing challenge for long term care facilities – a challenge that has only worsened in the wake of the pandemic. Staff members have missed work to take care of family members or have fallen ill with the virus and been forced to quarantine. A November <a href="/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/FactSheets/State-of-Nursing-Home-Industry_Dec2020.pdf" target="_blank">survey</a> by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) found that staffing has been the top cost in response to COVID-19, with nine out of 10 nursing homes hiring additional staff and/or paying staff overtime, underscoring the need for immediate solutions that will help alleviate this challenge.&#160;</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Declining Occupancy</strong></div><div>Long term care facilities have seen a dramatic decline in occupancy because of the pandemic. With fewer new admissions, particularly short-term rehabilitation patients, the growing number of empty beds fuels financial losses, underscoring the need for additional funding in order to keep facilities’ doors open for their current and future residents.&#160;&#160;</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Medicaid Underfunding</strong></div><div>Medicaid underfunding has plagued nursing homes for years. The perennial gap between Medicaid reimbursement rates and the actual cost of care has forced nursing homes to operate on shoestring budgets and suffer net losses year after year. These financial strains have been magnified by COVID-19, creating an alarming threat to the entire long term care sector. Adequate Medicaid funding is a long-term solution that will enable providers to invest in critical areas that will improve overall care.&#160;</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Nursing Home Closures</strong>&#160;</div><div>Nursing home closures have risen steadily for the past several years, but COVID-19 has increased the possibility of more providers shutting their doors. Nursing home closures leave residents displaced from their long-standing communities and loved ones and reduce their options for quality care, especially in rural areas. The same November survey AHCA/NCAL found that 90 percent of nursing homes are currently operating at a loss, and two-thirds of nursing home providers say they will not be able to sustain operations for another year at the current cost. Assisted living communities face similar financial challenges after receiving minimal federal aid due to the pandemic, with more than half operating at a loss and a similar percentage fearing their doors will close within a year without further assistance. We must ensure nursing homes and assisted living communities have the financial stability to continue providing high-quality care.</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>As members of the 117th Congress begin their work in Washington, D.C., lawmakers will have numerous proposals on their legislative agendas.
AHCA/NCAL Issues Statement Congratulating Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Becoming 46th President, 49th Vice President of the United Statesaspx1/20/2021 5:00:00 AM<p>​</p><div><strong>WASHINGTON, D.C.</strong> – 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 the following statement following the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.</div><div><br></div><div>The statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL&#58;</div><div><br></div><div>“We congratulate President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their inauguration, and we look forward to working with the new Administration and 117th Congress to develop meaningful solutions for the challenges long term care providers face – many of which have been magnified by the pandemic.</div><div><br></div><div>“There is still an immediate crisis in front of us. Long term care providers are working with pharmacies and state officials to help administer life-saving vaccines swiftly to residents and staff, and we are hopeful we have reached a turning point in our fight against the virus. However, with record-breaking numbers of COVID cases among the general population and in long term care facilities, we cannot let our guard down. Lawmakers must continue to ensure that long term care facilities are made a priority for the resources they need to protect our most vulnerable citizens and our health care heroes on the frontlines.</div><div><br></div><div>“At the same time, we must reflect on the lessons we have learned throughout the pandemic and apply them toward strengthening our health care system. We will work collaboratively with the Biden Administration and Members of Congress to achieve our goals and create a better future for our nation’s seniors.&quot;</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 the following statement following the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Vaccine Rollout Continues In Long Term Care Facilities Nationwide, Offering Hope To Residents, Families And Staffaspx1/12/2021 5:00:00 AM<p></p><div><a href="https&#58;//cvshealth.com/sites/default/files/cvs-health-covid-19-vaccination-data.pdf" target="_blank">Every state</a> in the country has activated its pharmacy partnership program for nursing homes, and so far, the response has been positive. As of January 11, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that more than 900,000 doses have been administered, and 95 percent of nursing homes expect to complete their first rounds of inoculations in the next two weeks.</div><div><br></div><div>Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont <a href="https&#58;//ctmirror.org/2021/01/08/as-infections-spike-connecticut-reaches-milestone-in-vaccinations/" target="_blank">announced</a> last Friday that the state completed administering the first doses of the vaccine to all nursing homes, becoming the first in the country to do so. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) is encouraging other governors to follow suit and swiftly activate their vaccination programs in all long term care settings, including assisted living communities.</div><div><br></div><div>Given the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of this virus, combined with rapidly increasing community spread throughout the country, the vaccines will literally be a lifesaver for thousands of residents and expedite the reopening of long term care facilities to family members and loved ones.</div><div><br></div><div>Headlines illustrate the positive impact the vaccines are having on the long term care sector&#58;</div><div><br></div><div><ul><li><a href="https&#58;//www.bostonherald.com/2020/12/28/massachusetts-nursing-homes-get-their-first-shot-at-coronavirus-vaccine-one-of-the-best-days-of-my-life/" target="_blank">Boston Herald</a>&#58; Massachusetts Nursing Homes Get Their First Shot At Coronavirus Vaccine&#58; ‘One Of The Best Days Of My Life’</li><li><a href="https&#58;//www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-coronavirus-chicago-vaccine-lightfoot-expanding-distribution-20201228-b3yptypqu5gufaudsjl5omusii-story.html" target="_blank">Chicago Tribune</a>&#58; ‘The Light At The End Of The Tunnel’&#58; COVID-19 Vaccinations Begin In Chicago’s Hard-Hit Nursing Homes As Mayor Asks For Continued Vigilance Against Virus</li><li><a href="https&#58;//www.berkshireeagle.com/news/local/a-lot-of-hope-for-the-future-vaccination-campaign-begins-at-beleaguered-lenox-nursing-home/article_023883fa-4957-11eb-9538-1381252fe3af.html" target="_blank">The Berkshire Eagle</a>&#58; ‘A Lot Of Hope For The Future’&#58; Vaccination Campaign Begins At Beleaguered Lenox Nursing Home</li><li><a href="https&#58;//www.brproud.com/news/local-news/its-been-a-long-road-golden-age-begins-vaccination-process-first-long-term-care-facility-in-area-to-start/" target="_blank">BR Proud</a>&#58; ‘It’s Been A Long Road,’ Golden Age Begins Vaccination Process, First Long-Term Care Facility In Area To Start</li><li><a href="https&#58;//www.kcbd.com/2020/12/29/we-have-waited-since-march-this-nursing-home-residents-staff-receiving-covid-vaccines-through-cvs/" target="_blank">KCBD-TV (NBC-Lubbock, TX)</a>&#58; ‘We Have Waited Since March For This’&#58; Nursing Home Residents And Staff Receiving COVID-19 Vaccines Through CVS</li><li><a href="https&#58;//www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/It-feels-like-a-big-relief-San-Antonio-15834979.php" target="_blank">The San Antonio Express-News</a>&#58; ‘It Feels Like A Big Relief;’ San Antonio Assisted Living Residents Get First Dose Of Coronavirus Vaccine Tuesday</li><li><a href="https&#58;//wxow.com/2020/12/29/a-lot-of-joy-wi-long-term-care-workers-residents-get-first-vaccines/" target="_blank">WXOW-TV (ABC-La Crosse, WI)</a>&#58; ‘A Lot Of Joy’&#58; WI Long-Term Care Workers, Residents Get First Vaccines</li><li><a href="https&#58;//www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-health/2020/12/27/covid-19-vaccinations-start-arizona-nursing-homes/4016014001/" target="_blank">The Arizona Republic</a>&#58; COVID-19 Vaccines To Begin At Arizona Nursing Homes&#58; ‘They Are Really Celebrating’&#160;</li></ul></div><div><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;"><br>Vaccinating the millions of vulnerable seniors and frontline workers in long term care facilities is a significant undertaking that requires many moving pieces. While the desire for a swift rollout is understandable, AHCA/NCAL has <a href="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/AHCA-NCAL-Issues-Statement-Regarding-COVID-19-Vaccine-Rollout-In-Long-Term-Care.aspx" target="_blank">urged</a> a thoughtful and targeted approach.</span><br></div><div><br></div><div>AHCA/NCAL has launched the <a href="/News-and-Communications/Pages/GetVaccinated.aspx" target="_blank">#GetVaccinated campaign</a> to encourage all residents, families and staff members to consent to the vaccine, as well as celebrate when vaccines are administered to residents and caregivers. AHCA/NCAL remains hopeful that uptake for the vaccine will improve as the pharmacy partnership program continues in the coming weeks and months as more clinics are scheduled.</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>Every state in the country has activated its pharmacy partnership program for nursing homes, and so far, the response has been positive.
AHCA/NCAL Issues Statement Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout In Long Term Careaspx1/6/2021 5:00:00 AM<div>​​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 regarding the pace of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.&#160;<br></div><div><br></div><div>The following statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL&#58;</div><div><br></div><div>“With record-breaking cases in nursing homes right now due to soaring community spread, no one could wish for a swifter delivery of the vaccine than those living and working in long term care facilities. While we must be efficient in order to save the lives of our most vulnerable, we must also be thoughtful and targeted in our approach.</div><div><br></div><div>“Since the creation of the pharmacy partnership program for long term care, we knew that this rollout would take time&#58; to approve the vaccines for use; to have enough supply for each state to activate the program; to encourage states to prioritize our population; to distribute and ship the vaccine to the pharmacies; to prepare the clinics for our residents who have complex conditions; to gather consent among residents or their health care representatives; and to educate staff, residents and family members about the need to take the vaccine. The plan from the beginning was to vaccinate long term care residents and staff with the first dose over three to four weeks, beginning the last two weeks of December. Therefore, we are in the midst of the pharmacy partnership program really getting underway, and we believe this program is operating in accordance with its intended timeline.</div><div><br></div><div>“As of right now, we are not aware of widespread issues or delays with this vaccine rollout, and if there were, we would be among the first to sound the alarm. We continue to assist a minority of member providers who come to us looking for assistance or clarity, but the majority of providers tell us that their clinics have been scheduled or have already occurred and that overall, the program is running smoothly.</div><div><br></div><div>“As with any effort of this scale, there will be issues, and vaccine hesitancy is our primary focus at this moment. Uptake among residents and staff is varying widely, but in general, staff seem to be mirroring the general public’s reaction&#58; excitement mixed with hesitation about the vaccines’ development and safety. We launched the <a href="/News-and-Communications/Pages/GetVaccinated.aspx" target="_blank">#GetVaccinated campaign​</a> to encourage all long term care residents, families and staff members to consent to the vaccine as well as provide credible information to help inform their decision. We call on public health officials, social media companies, and members of the media to combat misinformation about the vaccine to aid in this effort.</div><div><br></div><div>“And pardon the pun, but we get more than one shot at this. We remain hopeful that uptake for the vaccine will improve as this pharmacy partnership program continues to unfold in the coming weeks and months in the subsequent clinics.</div><div><br></div><div>“This is a monumental effort to vaccinate millions of our nation’s vulnerable seniors and their caregivers, and we are confident and grateful that everyone involved is working as hard and as fast as they can while still ensuring we get this right.”&#160;</div><div><br></div>The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) released the following statement regarding the pace of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Represents Turning Point For Long Term Care Residentsaspx1/5/2021 5:00:00 AM<p>​Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines is an important milestone in our nation's fight against the pandemic. Governors across the country have implemented recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to give long term care residents and staff priority within phase “1a&quot; of distribution.<br> <br>The elderly population has a much higher risk for getting very sick, being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19, thus contributing to the disproportionate affect the pandemic has had on long term care residents. <a href="http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t=3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2&amp;_m=1ee312d1508148abb3fc6ad60e9f9bd9&amp;_e=mzrpNwRYSSHjGukvPmIq1vtjCqNej-Bq21_pIyafz2rWj1vcOOHyaFYPjBcVkBi2jqpKPnw6IbLZzCwiv5IzojjnWUSW9rEPt3teXypjqx1qZ1ndHSCc9Ey9hs8OcyJ8vNY1dO8GVlqdy2lJdUeruL-R4X8Rn_J4CStWVw1o2SbIKpgqqwYycpQ5_EuETgtY82Ql6PxT7E8vzlDRpFk0NGtiKO7zd6UJOkMtw40aDQ9T413jdDwjMpzQBDXmojrrM7EXrtjmUf0jz0BNVarp17fhibx9kC6SBU4vT79EtE8vk3O14FFat6Huav2bfZzmDaTsgZXgqCRnAg7UxXb1NNK38gEvKIPs3otxOpaaKmb7v9Mub6vtkujPGJ9eVU_U">Forty percent</a> of all COVID-related deaths in the United States have occurred in long term care facilities.<br> <br>Vaccination is the best tool providers have to save lives and expedite the reopening of facilities. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined the vaccines to be safe and effective, and the side effects are minimal.<br> <br>The response to vaccination efforts thus far has been overwhelmingly positive. American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) President and CEO Mark Parkinson said in a <a href="http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t=3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2&amp;_m=1ee312d1508148abb3fc6ad60e9f9bd9&amp;_e=mzrpNwRYSSHjGukvPmIq1odTzKrH4n2Mnknef9wsJpMVo7IQvDshf51XPPfysw4-rYo7PqEerHWDPNAW1A3wxVj9DpY_Ty5vQOvbYfb9UkukzfFIZl9SrLl8GMV2mwvvz78cktBoJgbFgD4h_MEnNm2guHC7dRT9rYsVckHsJGyHBmyO90LcJmIWlhJKdtzDX2vGWf8cp_BTcVwWbuawi-Rtak7iKMFiKjbO08fwNZxJ7VLgLKNWriDJkCGOiHwAQxMSP6IXDXwnIgmeu11cx9Vq7H-lfUuwKttycKEK3eTsiwGCoGPmjhwPPhUXLcrH">recent CNN interview</a> that many long term care providers have shared that their vaccine clinics&#160; have resulted in 95 percent of residents getting vaccinated.<br> <br>Parkinson praised West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, who are leading successful efforts to vaccinate all long term care residents. Parkinson added, “If every governor would come out and say, 'We're going to have everybody vaccinated in these facilities with their first dose in January,' by the time we got to the first of March the COVID death rates in this country would be cut in half. And that's with a very limited amount of vaccines that we need to solve this problem and it can get done.&quot;<br> <br>AHCA/NCAL is urging other governors to follow suit and distribute the vaccines to long term residents and staff as soon as possible. This is critical as nursing homes and assisted living communities experience the worst outbreak of COVID-19 since the spring due to increasing community spread. Most recent data shows nearly 25,000 cases and 4,000 deaths per week – underscoring the real life and death race against the clock.<br> <br>For long term care providers, distribution of the vaccines represents a long-awaited turning point in the war against COVID-19. Long term care leaders across the country have described the vaccines as “<a href="http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t=3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2&amp;_m=1ee312d1508148abb3fc6ad60e9f9bd9&amp;_e=mzrpNwRYSSHjGukvPmIq1kVFl_FB0n5HSa823Sa-FL7a-Tf0YjQTvJIjEvvfKGTcNMt3to1r6cPc2Fx-yC1nCiZzRdQK_QcZp8Oe4P0iz6Jm_46JFW8jWAnkRGMnY5xXC-OkwC0Ub3IccsWPX7ioyRN_aIg0TV0KRSlG10ogpccv7HWovknzVZTzxdI0yHWTTvLUVoWLusbtaqkKVRmBB22eACLmsueZAJQ-l3t7si0w31meWeaM7MmjoHTI8FFf5zQYm5OwKp2sj0B3pDIiOoTLp-0JN9bQa8rIf_ZYz3CFYERyj5qcvdQGjZXQ7TKL_8vBP2U8BkeyvHDuGYmk4xUQxa8q81Me38u3vz-ga7I%3D">the light at the end of the tunnel</a>,&quot; “<a href="http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t=3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2&amp;_m=1ee312d1508148abb3fc6ad60e9f9bd9&amp;_e=mzrpNwRYSSHjGukvPmIq1kHJ31eIvkACMRw9esIE8kxeXuM8ZVZjrm4BKrOVc-RbTj6oLoPAmixKYK94Ss84FP42vFYoBFwu06wGbjJXXIZ8vPeFfQftQExLWMd2kDGHu15OT0dqQQ0PgEeTgo7WzgV3LhG0TCDglJ9zCxkSwuKPdOprIRbCLvh8b0k3ymRM6UrkqaLES1WVo4hkADEiy_xenvCfSgpPHNJDE9eqLttOR45qcPzw696nUaGR5qmmzNwYBYHOJPk9llDiVEN6FWwpOz4xJWp3BGCthpLBuoYmjffW1NXW-EQhVKk7tzsjp_jgwgGMWr1falTP-E0kgYplyQt_xyunBISYXYBe55ZO1R_i0IbvDM4QOhtMKL32Re9Y1XbgEo-qFczNoundCA%3D%3D">a glimmer of hope</a>,&quot; and “<a href="http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t=3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2&amp;_m=1ee312d1508148abb3fc6ad60e9f9bd9&amp;_e=mzrpNwRYSSHjGukvPmIq1p-QL_UWiSsPwEFal_sUAKs-sVIhHADilq-t75LLYzTPLS9qidfXG7D75vWR1I0iG2pr1Yz8_xCPf-Sgs_2YGYuQzuKgi_ZA4OimmGq3skqGviilBe3RDFygB4vxg3xXv08F4QZKU04z-6UELAJFDDsqFJ98lxDjxlrGYypkUGP78kJxCbB__KBoh3KoaLffzVEaARuNsmz--k0EQQceGGO7BY3NE4qVVMnsdXW0Wpvp4CoZbL7vHbTMD-DB6iroWooR5oIHYE8qzjd-CDVmenjNSvdk5Mfs7CE6JBh-2IemAB109OKQOypQ2lqyiFO7_krKE3SvLK9fbnIrNUlibFOk7avfU8vE7ryaKnYg9DCw">the most significant development in the last year for nursing facility residents and families</a>.&quot;<br> <br>AHCA/NCAL launched a nationwide <a href="http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t=3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2&amp;_m=1ee312d1508148abb3fc6ad60e9f9bd9&amp;_e=E0fI5CziHr-PwS-mlLsr6Yf_lYqo33oROe6CI18u-MnVPLr5TuV61NKZg8qFHzoWYbkCmwkm5iJovpZN7exM3wd7tHHXceTmDNoUK5Q9YI-KmjvLSJnSOVroPjBdCNsr1QvhMZWLu_5kbqxjWU23sDCvqSIY2hwaMTbQFsm54efjNcToT8HWuyY9-2wJbCdD7NF4gAkLPG_3nyrK_X50W9Xm3zoyr2ZQkx5DeFuaZOfidcjD1vfpGGY1oZ7mDYzqo-D1C1Je9_bpr7hhez4BLIuI7SMvLakaA5kTeE7d3OvL8V69QX-mgIdTxuGHzmlw9QOQQK7x9NUMHTYh_6ncY26WwnFUf3IL-4pWSw3MWIwznmchl2RQfl5zlQ7l8mDKQnXshh19sJ1BAWIyGMMNsORjEVlCLiITW7cgBRmlWA59pLmeBi8hHYYlEAADzmlJM0XRAq_5AxcE47NFUgnqUt--2GJwmGBQcrqjk8hIIaUuuFR6fKy4S60i7nUzyjsi7BOVefFWrVMuPjTha9epHWCYP-iCg9Yqq2aypgZd0htJ5sq6WSms17NJ7wnOdjWzBJqfORCvkDGgi8rJRxuNwr2HjQgu9WU1dM8pt1ToYW4089up39wQJxUjJnxj1zT--woYUnt-GluQFVZA_q0dUpnRZjpjYvNq8owQyIMFMrjjTii1ricrJLfibKv8OPObdwU4g9PKp4FblrVhRUfUDWUftRI92NOzuP5IHGZPkqA9pUmWGLbVQGGaBggfUtlvAC4GTpG_qMgUi-hvdnUgd4CFdghEpHj_Jabj5BFkB1ppfdg0iAwwrNS8yijNsEuiAQ46yw_fwlWQAByp5XjftbGKkCLFIG49j3EvwRRsH70YON4g1uy0kbYV3-dCxflv-o9jXDaFLGnXqWvwYyUJGg%3D%3D">campaign</a> last month to educate long term residents, families and staff about the vaccines. The campaign includes branded collateral and informational materials for its members, as well as the hashtag #GetVaccinated to raise awareness online. AHCA/NCAL believes this educational effort will help residents and staff make informed decisions that will safeguard their own health and their communities.​​<br></p>Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines is an important milestone in our nation’s fight against the pandemic.
What They Are Saying: State Long Term Care Associations Express Optimism As Vaccination Distribution Continuesaspx1/4/2021 5:00:00 AM<p></p><div>Long term care residents and staff across the country continue to receive the COVID-19 vaccines, following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to give them priority within phase “1a” of distribution.</div><div><br></div><div>Vaccine distribution is a turning point in what has been a very difficult period for the health care sector, including nursing homes and assisted living communities. Long term care facilities continue to experience a record number of COVID cases due to increasing community spread – the worst outbreak since the spring. Most recent data shows nearly 25,000 cases and 4,000 deaths per week.</div><div><br></div><div>State long term care associations are hopeful that the vaccines will save lives and allow facilities to resume normal activities in the near future&#58;</div><div><br></div><div><ul><li><a href="https&#58;//apnews.com/article/assisted-living-iowa-coronavirus-pandemic-nursing-homes-7bb7dbf807c4e62d751ecda8f2ae8704" target="_blank">Brent Willet, president and CEO, Iowa Health Care Association</a>&#58; “This is the most significant development in the last year for nursing facility residents and families, without question ... It’s going to allow us to get back to a level of normality and most importantly a level of contact between families and residents that we’ve been missing for the last 10 months.”</li></ul></div><div>&#160;</div><div><ul><li>​<a href="https&#58;//www.capradio.org/articles/2020/12/28/massive-covid-19-vaccination-effort-begins-at-california-nursing-homes/" target="_blank">Deborah Pacyna, director of public affairs, California Association of Health Facilities</a>&#58; “The vaccination just really represents hope and joy for this particular population that has suffered so much ... We’ve been waiting for this moment for the past nine months.”</li></ul></div><div>&#160;</div><div><ul><li>​<a href="https&#58;//www.abc6.com/rhode-island-nursing-homes-prepare-for-vaccine-rollout/" target="_blank">Scott Fraser, president and CEO, Rhode Island Health Care Association</a>&#58; “The people who have been most affected by the illness are getting the vaccinations, and that’s very important ... We are finally getting the program underway, and it’s going to go a long way to help save people’s lives.”</li></ul></div><div>&#160;</div><div><ul><li><a href="https&#58;//www.startribune.com/first-doses-of-coronavirus-vaccine-arrive-at-minnesota-nursing-homes/573493582/" target="_blank">Patti Cullen, president and CEO, Care Providers of Minnesota</a>&#58; “This is a really big deal. It gives us hope and literally will save lives.”</li></ul></div><div>&#160;</div><div><ul><li>​<a href="https&#58;//www.wlrn.org/local-news/2020-12-28/coronavirus-deaths-at-florida-long-term-care-facilities-top-8-000" target="_blank">Emmett Reed, executive director, Florida Health Care Association</a>&#58; “Florida’s long term care facilities are working diligently to get the vaccine distributed quickly and safely to their residents and staff … This has been a complex and long process, but our members are making it happen and literally saving lives every single day.”</li></ul></div><div>&#160;</div><div><ul><li><a href="https&#58;//www.pennlive.com/news/2020/12/with-covid-19-vaccines-arriving-life-could-return-to-normal-by-summer-maybe.html" target="_blank">Zach Shamberg, CEO, Pennsylvania Health Care Association</a>&#58; “We’re hopeful that after the second dose of the vaccine is administered, probably in February, March and April, we can return to some sense of normalcy. That means reopening visitation and allowing residents and their loved ones to reconnect again.”</li></ul></div><div><br></div><div>Vaccine distribution brings long term care providers one step closer to defeating the virus. Although the vaccines are a reason for optimism, we must remain vigilant. Long term care providers must be made a priority for the vaccines, as well as critical resources such as personal protective equipment (PPE), testing and staff support.</div><div><br></div><div>AHCA/NCAL is leading an effort to educate long term care residents, families and staff about the vaccines. Last month, AHCA/NCAL launched a nationwide <a href="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/AHCANCAL-Launches-Branded-Effort-To-Promote-Vaccine-Usage.aspx" target="_blank">campaign</a> with branded collateral and informational materials for its members, as well as the hashtag #GetVaccinated to raise awareness online. AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson said, “Vaccination is the best tool we have had in the ongoing fight against this historic threat … The faster we get people vaccinated, the more lives we can save.&quot;</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>Long term care residents and staff across the country continue to receive the COVID-19 vaccines, following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to give them priority within phase “1a” of distribution.
AHCA/NCAL Issues Statement Regarding New Strain Of COVID-19 Found In Colorado Nursing Homeaspx12/30/2020 5:00:00 AM<p>​<span style="font-size&#58;11pt;">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 in response to confirmation that the new strain of COVID-19 discovered in the United Kingdom has been found in an individual who was assisting a Colorado nursing home.&#160;&#160;<br></span><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;"><br>The following statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL&#58;<br></span><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;"><br>“News that the new strain of COVID-19 has been confirmed and connected with a Colorado nursing home indicates that our fight against this virus is far from over. This development comes at a time when long term care facilities are facing the worst outbreak since the spring. Soaring community spread has resulted in a record-breaking number of cases and deaths in nursing homes—nearly 25,000 cases and 4,000 deaths per week. This is why long term care residents and staff must be prioritized for critical resources, especially distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines. Given the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of the virus, coupled with the vulnerability of our populations, the vaccines will literally be a lifesaver for tens of thousands of long term care residents. In addition, providers need ongoing support with personal protective equipment (PPE), testing and staffing. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect our residents and staff, but we need the full support of federal and state governments to win this war.&quot;</span></p><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 the following statement in response to confirmation that the new strain of COVID-19 discovered in the United Kingdom has been found in an individual who was assisting a Colorado nursing home.
What They Are Saying: State Long Term Care Associations Hopeful As COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Gets Underwayaspx12/29/2020 5:00:00 AM<p></p><div>Long term care residents and staff across the country are among some of the first groups to receive the COVID-19 vaccines, following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to give them priority within phase “1a” of distribution and many governors adhering to these recommendations.</div><div><br></div><div>With long term care facilities continuing to see a record number of COVID cases due to community spread, swiftly receiving the vaccines comes at a critical time. A recent <a href="/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/FactSheets/Report-Nursing-Homes-Cases-Dec21-2020.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) shows that long term care facilities are experiencing the worst outbreak of new cases and deaths since the spring.</div><div><br></div><div>Vaccine distribution is a pivotal moment in what has been a very demanding year on the health care sector, and the most challenging for long term care facilities. State long term care associations are optimistic that this will be a turning point in their fight against COVID-19&#58;</div><div><br></div><div><ul><li><a href="https&#58;//www.ctpost.com/news/article/COVID-vaccinations-at-CT-nursing-homes-start-15813417.php" target="_blank">Matt Barrett, president, Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities</a>&#58; “The vaccine is a beacon of light pointing to the other side of this epic public health emergency, and the individuals who will be vaccinated today deserve our appreciation for the example they are setting.”</li></ul></div><div>&#160;</div><div><ul><li>​​<a href="https&#58;//www.wbrc.com/2020/12/17/northport-pharmacy-helping-vaccinate-thousands-nursing-home-residents-workers/" target="_blank">John Matson, communications director, Alabama Nursing Home Association</a>&#58; “We hope that the COVID-19 vaccine is what finally gets us past this pandemic.”</li></ul></div><div>&#160;</div><div><ul><li>​​<a href="https&#58;//www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2020/12/21/kentuckys-nursing-homes-start-coronavirus-vaccinations/3968682001/" target="_blank">Betsy Johnson, president of the Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities and Kentucky Center for Assisted Living</a>&#58; &quot;It has been a long year and a hard-fought battle… We are optimistic for what the future brings.”</li></ul></div><div>&#160;</div><div><ul><li><a href="https&#58;//norfolkdailynews.com/news/nursing-home-workers-residents-should-start-getting-vaccinated-next-week/article_121661b2-446a-11eb-8058-331b06231028.html" target="_blank">​Heath Boddy, president and CEO, Nebraska Health Care Association</a>&#58; “The vaccine represents a way out … There will be better days ahead ... We will be able to connect with our families again.”</li></ul></div><div>&#160;</div><div><ul><li><a href="https&#58;//news.wbfo.org/post/light-end-tunnel-ny-nursing-homes-begin-receiving-covid-19-vaccine" target="_blank">Stephen Hanse, president and CEO, New York State Health Facilities Association</a>&#58; “A clinician I was speaking to, she said, ‘This is the light at the end of the tunnel.’ And it truly is the light at the end of the tunnel.”</li></ul></div><div>&#160;</div><div><ul><li><a href="https&#58;//www.4029tv.com/article/arkansas-long-term-care-facilities-prepare-to-vaccinate-residents-and-staff-for-covid-19/35037953#" target="_blank">Rachel Bunch, executive director, Arkansas Health Care Association</a>&#58; “It feels like there is an end in sight, and it feels like a way to get back to some sort of normal.”</li></ul></div><div>&#160;</div><div><ul><li><a href="https&#58;//www.app.com/story/news/new-jersey/2020/12/21/phil-murphy-defends-missed-deadline-nursing-home-covid-19-vaccine/3990540001/" target="_blank">Stuart Shapiro, interim chief executive officer, Health Care Association of New Jersey</a>&#58; “Nursing home residents and staff are looking forward to the start of this important immunization program, and are coordinating with CVS and Walgreens to maximize success.”&#160;&#160;</li></ul></div><div><br></div><div>Our country’s most vulnerable population and their dedicated caregivers continue to weather the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the vaccine brings us one step closer to defeating the virus. To educate long term care residents, family and staff about the vaccines, AHCA/NCAL launched a nationwide <a href="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/AHCANCAL-Launches-Branded-Effort-To-Promote-Vaccine-Usage.aspx" target="_blank">campaign</a> that includes branded collateral and informational materials for AHCA/NCAL members, as well as the hashtag #GetVaccinated to raise awareness online.</div><div><br></div><div>Although the vaccines are a reason for optimism, we cannot let our guard down. We must remain vigilant to protect our most vulnerable citizens and frontline staff. Long term care providers have been doing everything they can to keep their residents safe, but we must all continue to work together to minimize community spread in order to prevent outbreaks.&#160;</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>LTC residents and staff across the country are among some of the first groups to receive the COVID-19 vaccines, following CDC recommendations to give them priority within phase “1a” of distribution and many governors adhering to these recommendations.