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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.
AHCA/NCAL Urges All Americans To Remain Vigilant Around Holiday Gatherings To Protect Vulnerable Populationsaspx12/21/2020 5:00:00 AM<p></p><div>With the holiday season kicking into high gear, it is important remember that COVID-19 still remains a deadly threat, especially to our most vulnerable citizens – long term care residents. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) released an updated <a href="/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/FactSheets/Report-Nursing-Homes-Cases-Dec21-2020.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> today showing how nursing homes are experiencing the worst outbreak of new cases and deaths since the spring due to a high rate of community spread among the general population, surpassing previous peaks since the Centers for Medicare &amp; Medicaid Services (CMS) started tracking cases in these facilities.</div><div><br></div><div>Independent research from experts has shown that community spread is the top factor in outbreaks in nursing homes and assisted living communities. Dr. David Grabowski, professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School recently <a href="https&#58;//www.washingtonpost.com/health/covid-19-surges-back-into-nursing-homes-in-coronavirus-hot-spots/2020/08/13/edbff5fe-dd75-11ea-b205-ff838e15a9a6_story.html" target="_blank">stated</a>, “The strongest predictor of whether or not we’ll see cases in [a particular setting] is community spread.”</div><div><br></div><div>This is why we must remain cautious around the holiday season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued <a href="https&#58;//www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/winter.html" target="_blank">guidance</a> around the winter holidays, including&#58;</div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>Postponing travel and staying home, but if travel is necessary, checking the COVID-19 infection rates in areas where attendees live on state, local, territorial, or tribal health department websites.</li><li>Celebrating virtually or with members of the same household.</li><li>Wearing a mask.</li><li>Staying at least six feet away from others who do not live together.</li><li>Avoiding crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces.</li><li>​Washing hands regularly.&#160;</li><li>Getting a flu shot as soon as possible.</li><li>Holiday celebrations that limit the number of guests and are held outdoors if possible.</li><li>Attending virtual religious services.&#160;</li></ul></div><div><br></div><div>Dr. David Gifford, chief medical officer for the AHCA/NCAL said, “We understand everyone wants to see their family and friends during the holidays, but we really need to consider our parents and grandparents who are living in our nation’s long term care facilities. Even though you may feel fine, more than half of people who have COVID-19 are asymptomatic, and the people you encounter…at the grocery store may work in a nursing home or assisted living community. Wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing not only protects you, but it is sign of respect for our elders and our health care heroes who care for them.”</div><div><br></div><div>While a COVID-19 vaccine has begun to be distributed across the country, now is not the time to let down our guard. We must remain vigilant to protect our most vulnerable. Long term care workers have been doing everything they can to keep their residents safe, but they need help of the general public to minimize 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>With the holiday season kicking into high gear, it is important remember that COVID-19 still remains a deadly threat, especially to our most vulnerable citizens – long term care residents.
AHCA/NCAL Issues Statement Regarding COVID Relief Packageaspx12/21/2020 5:00:00 AM<p></p><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 in response to the pending COVID relief package.&#160;&#160;</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>“While we appreciate the difficulty in reaching a bipartisan compromise, we are disappointed that Congress could not strike a deal that recognizes the dire situation our long term care residents and staff are facing right now. Due to soaring community spread, nursing homes are experiencing a record-breaking number of cases and deaths—worse than the spring. Even with a vaccine on its way, it will likely take months to fully vaccinate our residents and staff, as well as the remaining public. Facilities will not be able to return to normal for some time, meaning providers need ongoing support with PPE, testing and staffing.</div><div><br></div><div>“Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of long term care facilities are operating at a loss, and the additional funds slated for the Provider Relief Fund for all heath care providers in this legislation are minimal. Hundreds of facilities are in danger of closing their doors permanently and uprooting the frail seniors they care for. Congress must do more in the new year by directing specific aid to long term care. We owe it to our nation’s seniors and our health care heroes.”</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 in response to the pending COVID relief package.
AHCA/NCAL Launches Branded Effort To Promote Vaccine Usageaspx12/18/2020 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, launched a campaign this week to encourage long term care residents and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19.</div><div><br></div><div>Through branded materials including posters, buttons, and window placards, as well as digital and media engagement, the campaign’s goal is to ensure people in long term care facilities are aware the COVID-19 vaccine is available and that they get vaccinated as soon as possible.&#160;&#160;</div><div><br></div><div>“Vaccination is the best tool we have had in the ongoing fight against this historic threat,” said Mark Parkinson, the president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “The faster we get people vaccinated, the more lives we can save. We believe this educational effort will help our residents and staff make informed decisions that will safeguard not only their own health, but also the communities where they live and work.”</div><div><br></div><div>Branded collateral and informational materials have been shared with AHCA/NCAL members across the country. Using the hashtag #GetVaccinated, this campaign also seeks to raise awareness online, especially among family members of long term care residents. By encouraging their loved ones to get vaccinated, family members can play an important role in the effort to eradicate the virus from long term care settings.</div><div><br></div><div>“While delivery of a vaccine is an important milestone, it will only work if people take it,” added Parkinson. “By working with our members to provide staff, residents, and family members with the facts and information they need, we can hopefully begin to put this threat behind us. In the meantime, we must remain vigilant and continue to rally around our heroic caregivers and vulnerable residents.”</div><div><br></div><div>To find examples of branded collateral, please visit <a href="/News-and-Communications/Pages/GetVaccinated.aspx" target="_blank">www.ahcancal.org/getvaccinated</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) 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 launched a campaign this week to encourage long term care residents and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
AHCA/NCAL Statement on Phase 3 COVID-19 Provider Relief Funding Paymentsaspx12/16/2020 5:00:00 AM<p><strong>​</strong><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;"><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 regarding the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) distribution of the Phase 3 Provide Relief Funding, which includes $1.1 billion for nursing homes&#58;<br></span><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;"><br>The statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL&#58;</span></p><div><br></div><div>“We greatly appreciate HHS distributing this crucial funding to nursing homes and assisted living communities. Federal aid is critical during this time when providers are dealing with record cases and deaths due to high community spread, and therefore, dedicating extensive resources to fight this virus. Our health care heroes are doing everything they can to prevent COVID-19 from spreading further, but the level of COVID nationwide in communities puts serious strain on our workforce, supplies, and testing capacity. Since it will likely take months to vaccinate our population, these payments give our providers a fighting chance to battle this horrible virus and keep our doors open.”</div><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) 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.ahca.org</a>.<br></div>AHCA/NCAL released a statement regarding HHS' distribution of the Phase 3 Provide Relief Funding, which includes $1.1 billion for nursing homes.
Urgent Need For Congress To Approve Additional Relief Funding For Long Term Care Facilitiesaspx12/15/2020 5:00:00 AM<p></p><div>Long term care providers still face an uphill battle when it comes to fighting COVID-19. COVID cases in nursing homes have now surpassed their peak in the spring due to the growing surge in cases among the general population. Top academic experts continue to point to community spread as a primary factor in the likelihood of outbreaks in long term care facilities.</div><div><br></div><div>With the holiday season underway and winter months approaching, the situation may get worse before it gets better. Thanksgiving travel contributed to the current surge in cases, and Christmas travel is expected to result in the same.</div><div><br></div><div>There is still time for Congress to pass another COVID stimulus bill during the lame duck session. As lawmakers continue to deliberate, and with two COVID relief bills introduced this week, AHCA/NCAL is urging lawmakers to take action to prioritize long term care residents and staff.</div><div><br></div><div>Two COVID relief bills were announced on Monday. The additional resources proposed for the Provider Relief Fund, as well as financial support specifically directed to long term care providers, is a step in the right direction. The $2 billion proposed for long term care providers would be particularly helpful as they cope with increased expenses for everything from PPE to staffing. We urge Congress to reach an agreement on these proposals and take swift action to get support to long term care staff and residents across the country.</div><div><br></div><div>The COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use, and distribution has begun. Several governors have prioritized long term care residents and staff for the vaccine, and providers are starting to roll out distribution in their facilities. Governors who have not yet finalized their distribution plans should follow suit.</div><div><br></div><div>While the vaccine is a significant turning point, the fight is not over. It will likely take months for all residents and staff members to receive the necessary two doses to receive full protection from the virus, and AHCA/NCAL has challenged all states to accomplish this by March 1. In the meantime, long term care providers will still need the tools they need to win, including PPE, testing and staffing support. Reports of staffing shortages have grown in recent weeks. Providers across the country are facing dire shortages of workers, putting added strain on their workforce. Even after the vaccine, experts are advising health care providers and individuals to remain vigilant about wearing PPE, the number one cost for many long term care providers at the moment. Long term care providers cannot continue to fight the pandemic without the financial support of Congress.</div><div><br></div><div>Members of Congress must come to an agreement during the lame duck session to pass another stimulus package. Long term care residents and staff cannot afford to wait.</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 still face an uphill battle when it comes to fighting COVID-19.
AHCA/NCAL Renews Calls For Governors To Prioritize Long Term Care Residents And Staff For Vaccine Distribution Following FDA Approvalaspx12/14/2020 5:00:00 AM<p></p><div>Last Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved emergency use authorization for Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine. This was welcome news for the long term care industry, which has been waiting for months for a safe and effective vaccine to come to market.</div><div><br></div><div>Long term care facilities have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. More than 100,000 in long term care have died from COVID-19 nationwide, and unfortunately, the same devastation that occurred in the early months of the pandemic is coming to fruition again due to high community spread across the country. Nursing homes are now experiencing the worst outbreak of new cases since the spring, with nearly 3,000 residents succumbing to the virus each week.</div><div><br></div><div>The vaccines are a critical development for many. Given the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of the virus combined with a dramatic increase in community spread across the U.S., the vaccines will literally save thousands of lives. In addition, they could help expedite the reopening of facilities and reunite residents with their loved ones in the near future.&#160;</div><div><br></div><div>Now that the vaccines have been approved for use, it’s up to state governors to decide which groups will receive them first. Many experts, including those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agree that long term care should be a top priority. Several governors have indicated that their state’s long term care residents and staff will be first in line, including Governors Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Kim Reynolds (R-IA), Andy Beshear (D-KY) and Brian Kemp (R-GA).</div><div><br></div><div>It is critical that all governors and state health agencies follow suit. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) sent a <a href="/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/Letters/NGA-Letter-12.3.20.pdf" target="_blank">letter</a> to the National Governors Association (NGA) earlier this month urging states to follow recommendations from the CDC and prioritize long term care facilities within the first phase of distribution.</div><div><br></div><div>With the number of cases growing rapidly, there is no time to waste. In a statement, AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson said&#58;&#160;</div><div><br></div><blockquote style="margin&#58;0px 0px 0px 40px;border&#58;none;padding&#58;0px;"><div>“A one-month delay in distributing the vaccine to all long term care residents and caregivers, could result in more than 20,000 of our residents losing their life when a vaccine could protect them. We’re in a life or death race against the clock.”</div></blockquote><div><br></div><div>AHCA/NCAL urges all state governors to allocate the vaccine to all long term care residents and staff by March 1 and encourages residents and staff to get vaccinated when available. Governors must act quickly to save as many lives as 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>Last Friday, the U.S. FDA approved emergency use authorization for Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine.
Long Term Care Industry Welcomes Emergency Use Authorization By FDA for COVID Vaccineaspx12/11/2020 5:00:00 AM<p>​<br></p><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 in response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approving emergency use authorization for Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine.</div><div>&#160;</div><div>The following statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL&#58;</div><div>&#160;</div><div>“On behalf of the long term industry, we welcome the decision by the FDA to approve emergency use authorization to expedite the distribution of a COVID vaccine.”</div><div><br></div><div>“The delivery of a safe and effective vaccine can’t come soon enough. More than 100,000 in long term care have died from this virus in the U.S. and our nursing homes are now experiencing the worst outbreak of new cases since last spring with more than 2,000 residents succumbing to this virus each week.”&#160;</div><div><br></div><div>“Given the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of this virus combined with the significant increase of community spread across the U.S., time is of the essence and these vaccines will literally be a lifesaver for thousands of residents, and expedite the reopening of our facilities to family members and loved ones.”&#160;</div><div><br></div><div>“A one-month delay in distributing the vaccine to all long term care residents and caregivers, could result in more than 20,000 of our residents losing their life when a vaccine could protect them. We’re in a life or death race against the clock.”</div><div><br></div><div>“It is vital that governors and state health agencies are ready to distribute the vaccine to our long term care residents and staff as soon as possible to save as many lives as possible.”</div><div><br></div><div>For more information please visit <a href="/Survey-Regulatory-Legal/Emergency-Preparedness/pages/coronavirus.aspx" target="_blank">www.ahcancal.org/coronavirus</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) 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>Calls On Governors And State Health Agencies To Allocate Vaccine To Long Term Care Residents And Staff As Soon As PossibleAHCA/NCAL released the following statement in response to the U.S. FDA approving emergency use authorization for Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine.