AHCA/NCAL Responds to U.S. House Inquiry Concerning COVID-19
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and long term care facilities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released the following statement in response to the inquiry by the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis in the U.S. House of Representatives concerning the long term care industry’s response to the pandemic.
The following statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL:
“America’s nursing homes and assisted living communities have been on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 and have performed heroic work to keep their residents and staff safe. From the earliest days of this pandemic, we have been sounding the alarm and calling for help. Unfortunately, in far too many instances, our residents and caregivers were not made a priority.
“Research by David C. Grabowski, PhD, a professor of health care policy in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School; Vincent Mor, PhD, professor of Health Services and Policy at Brown University; and R. Tamara Konetzka, PhD, professor of Health Services Research at the University of Chicago, found that the likelihood of outbreaks in nursing homes are most directly correlated with the size of the outbreak in the larger community where a facility is located, with little to no correlation to facility ownership structure, staffing or quality ratings.
“As long term care providers have gained access to testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), staffing support and other assistance, they have increasingly been better able to respond to this crisis and prevent outbreaks. Meanwhile, the vast majority of residents diagnosed with the virus are recovering or are likely to recover. This underscores the fact that what is needed most is continued support for long term care residents and providers, especially as states move to reopen and local outbreaks increase.
“AHCA/NCAL and our members appreciate any opportunity to work in collaboration with lawmakers to advance solutions that enable us to better serve the residents in our care. While the federal and state governments have been helpful, much more is still needed as this pandemic is far from over. We hope this process will provide an opportunity to have a productive discussion about ways we can continue to work together to protect the vulnerable population we serve.”
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 nearly 5 million seniors and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our facilities each year. For more information, please visit www.ahcancal.org or www.ncal.org.