Coronavirus

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are working with the federal government​​​ to ensure nursing hom​​es, assisted living communities, and intermediate care facilities for indiv​​iduals with intellectual disabilities receive necessary supplies and guidance to prevent the spread ​of this virus.​

Visit this website regularly for the latest information that AHCA/NCAL has to share with long term care providers about COVID-19. 


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How You Can Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

 Providers

Please note that skilled nursing providers should consult the guidance put forth by CMS and the CDC, and assisted living communities can consult AHCA/NCAL's guidance​. Providers should also check their local and state health departments for updates and potentially stricter guidance, but these are general, national prevention and containment tips: 

 
Infection Control: Maintain i​nfection control policies and procedures, updated where needed and increase transmission-based precautions.
 
Staff: Remind about hand hygiene and proper use of PPE. Tell them to stay home if they're sick. Screen all personnel coming into the building.
 
Limit Interactions: Restrict all non-essential visitors and group activities. Implement social distancing within the facility.
 
PPE: Preserve your current supply if you're running low. Ask for help from local and state officials and document requests.
 
Communicate: Report suspected or confirmed cases to authorities. Keep residents, families and staff informed about your developing situation. Prepare for media inquiries.
 
Engagement: Keep residents connected with loved ones remotely and stimulated with meaningful activities adapted for this situation.


If a staff member shows symptoms of COVID-19: Have them go home immediately. 

If a resident shows symptoms of ​COVID-19​: Implement droplet precaution, and contact the local health department. ​

 Families

Coronavirus (COVID-19) poses a serious threat to older adults (especially 80 years old and older) and those with underlying health conditions. This is why the federal government and many state governments are restricting visitors to nursing homes and assisted living communities. Adaptations (e.g., outdoor visits) and exceptions on a case-by-case basis (e.g., end-of-life visits) may be made. ​We understand this is difficult, but the safety and wellbeing of your loved one is our top priority.  

Here’s how you can continue to stay in touch with them, and how you can help: 

  • Communicate with your loved ones through alternative ways for the time being, whether by phone, video, social media, or other methods. Ask the facility about ways they can help with this.  
  • Make sure your loved one’s facility has your emergency contact information. The facility may need to communicate with you about any developments regarding your loved one or about the facility as a whole.
    • Many long term care facilities are only permitted to share information about a resident to a designated health representative. Work together as a family unit to share information to keep everyone informed.       
  • If you must come to the facility, coordinate with the staff ahead of time.  
    • They may ask you some questions, take your temperature, have you take a COVID test, and/or make sure you’re wearing proper protective equipment (like a mask) when you arrive. This is to make sure you do not pose as a potential risk to residents and staff.  
    • If you are asked to not enter the building, please understand this is for the safety of your loved one and everyone else in the building. Nursing homes and assisted living communities are following direction from the government to prevent the spread of this virus.  
    • ​If you are permitted in, please wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately upon entering and throughout your visit. Wear a mask and any other protective equipment as directed by the facility. Avoid touching your loved ones or other individuals in the building. Again, we know this is difficult, but the virus is very contagious and social distancing is important at this time. ​
  • Do your part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. High community spread is linked to outbreaks in nursing homes. Follow the CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others. Get the COVID-19 vaccine, when you are eligible. 
  • ​Warn your loved ones about potential scammers during this crisis and encourage them to be cautious.​

 Residents

Coronavirus (COVID-19) poses a serious threat to older adults (especially 80 years old and older) and those with underlying health conditions. This is why the federal government and many state governments are restricting visitors to nursing homes and assisted living communities. We understand this is a difficult and stressful time. Those who work in long term care facilities are focused on your safety and wellbeing.  

Here’s how you can continue to stay in touch with your loved ones, and how you can help: 

  • Ask the facility about other ways you can communicate with your loved ones, whether by phone, video or social media.  
  • Get the COVID-19 vaccine. Your facility is working with a pharmacy or state/local officials to offer vaccination clinics and can provide more specific information about how and when this will work. 
  • Follow everyday preventive actions such as: 
    • ​Washing your hands or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers 
    • Covering your cough and sneezes ​
    • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth 
    • Keeping 6-feet distance from other residents and staff (when possible) 
  • ​Ask other individuals (including staff) to avoid touching you with handshakes, hugs or kisses. Ask them to wash their hands. Do not be shy! It’s okay to remind people.
  • Watch out for potential scammers​ during this crisis. 
  • If you begin to experience difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell​, tell a staff member immediately.​

 

 

Accessing the COVID-19 Vaccine in Long Term Carehttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Accessing-the-COVID-19-Vaccine-in-Long-Term-Care.aspxAccessing the COVID-19 Vaccine in Long Term Care3/3/2021 5:00:00 AM<p><br></p><div>AHCA/NCAL has put together resources on how to access the COVID-19 vaccine after the pharmacy partnership concludes, as well as an overview of the COVID-19 vaccine coverage under Medicare. </div><div><br></div><div><strong>Accessing COVID-19 Vaccine in Long Term Care After the Pharmacy Partnership </strong></div><div><br></div><div>AHCA/NCAL has drafted new <a href="/News-and-Communications/Documents/GetVaccinated/LTC%20Accessing%20COVID-19%20Vaccine%20in%20Phase%202.pdf" target="_blank">guidance​</a> on accessing COVID-19 vaccine in long term care after the LTC Pharmacy Partnership Program is completed. This guidance lays out action steps members should take immediately to ensure ongoing access to vaccine, including how they will receive and administer the vaccine.<br></div><div><br></div><div><strong>COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Coverage and Claim Coding in Skilled Nursing Facilities </strong></div><div><br></div><div>AHCA/NCAL has created a <a href="/News-and-Communications/Documents/GetVaccinated/COVID-19%20Vaccine%20Coverage%20and%20Billing%20Guidance.pdf" target="_blank">fact sheet</a> providing an overview of COVID-19 vaccine coverage under Medicare Part B and how it interacts with Medicare Part A and Medicare Advantage. It discusses common situations where external mass immunizers, such as LTC pharmacies, may be responsible for vaccine administration and ​claim billing. For SNFs that elect to administer and bill for the COVID-19 vaccine, it summarizes the key coverage and claim coding requirements. SNF billing staff should review these requirements and discuss with billing software vendors to assure that the required specifications are included to permit COVID-19 vaccine billing.<br></div>AHCA/NCAL has put together some resources on how to access the COVID-19 vaccine after the pharmacy partnership and an overview of the COVID-19 vaccine coverage under Medicare.
AHCA/NCAL Announces a New Pathway to Request Staff Support for Monoclonal Antibody Infusionshttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/AHCANCAL-Announces-a-New-Pathway-to-Request-Staff-Support-for-Monoclonal-Antibody-Infusions.aspxAHCA/NCAL Announces a New Pathway to Request Staff Support for Monoclonal Antibody Infusions3/2/2021 5:00:00 AM<p></p><div>AHCA/NCAL announced a new, grass-roots opportunity facilitating the use of interested and qualified Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers to provide staff support for administering COVID-19 monoclonal antibody infusions in LTC facilities. The Long-Term Care Infusion Support Activity (LISA) is a collaborative initiative designed and supported by six national associations, including AHCA/NCAL, that have united to form the Coalition to Advance Community-Based Solutions for COVID-19. The goals of LISA are to reduce hospitalizations, preserve U.S. healthcare system capacity, and protect America’s seniors against COVID-19. </div><div><br></div><div>The LISA initiative includes: </div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>​Detailed <strong>step-by-step instructions</strong> for activating the pathway and engaging with local MRC units and partners. </li><li>Curated <strong>online training</strong> for MRC volunteers on core topics, including infection control, LTC facilities, COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies, and infusion therapy. </li><li><strong>Hands-on refresher training</strong> for MRC volunteers at a local infusion center (if available) on IV access, infusion therapy, and managing infusion reactions. </li></ul></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><strong>Note that local MRC units vary widely in terms of capacity, capabilities, personnel, and competing priorities. MRC units may or may not be able to satisfy requests for LISA support. </strong></span><br></div><div><br></div><div>Action items for LTC facilities and/or state chapters: </div><div><br></div><div><ul><li><a href="https://066b40b5535506586917-68298049b65edbd7ec9f493f0b1c8eb3.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com/ahca_5c33792a4c1c5145c389aaaa628e99e2.pdf" target="_blank">Review</a> full details about the LISA initiative and pathway. </li><li>Share this information with your facility and/or corporate leadership. If you are a state chapter of an LTC association, please share broadly with your membership. </li><li>If your LTC facility and would like to request monoclonal antibody infusion support through LISA, <a href="https://mrc.hhs.gov/findmrc" target="_blank">look up contact information</a> for the Director of your local MRC unit(s). Select a state, then click map location(s) for phone/email, and inquire about the availability of LISA volunteers.<br></li></ul></div>AHCA/NCAL announced a new, grass-roots opportunity facilitating the use of interested and qualified MRC volunteers to provide staff support for administering COVID-19 monoclonal antibody infusions in LTC facilities.
Nursing Homes See 82 Percent Decline In COVID Cases Indicating The Vaccines Are Workinghttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/Nursing-Homes-See-82-Percent-Decline-In-COVID-Cases-Indicating-The-Vaccines-Are-Working.aspxNursing Homes See 82 Percent Decline In COVID Cases Indicating The Vaccines Are Working3/2/2021 5:00:00 AM<p>​<br></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 a <a href="/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/FactSheets/Report-Nursing-Homes-Cases-Feb7-2021.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> today showing nursing homes in the U.S. have seen the lowest number of new COVID cases since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) started tracking back in May 2020, suggesting that the vaccines are working.</div><div><br></div><div>Recent CMS data shows that nursing homes have seen an 82 percent decline in new COVID cases among residents since the peak during the week of December 20 of last year when there were more than 30,000 new resident cases. In the same period of time, community cases in the general population dropped by 46 percent, showcasing that vaccines are having an impact in protecting the elderly population in nursing homes.</div><div><br><img src="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/PublishingImages/Pages/Nursing-Homes-See-82-Percent-Decline-In-COVID-Cases-Indicating-The-Vaccines-Are-Working/pr1.jpg" alt="pr1.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br><br><span style="font-size:11pt;">“We still have a long road ahead, but these numbers are incredibly encouraging and a major morale booster for frontline caregivers who have been working tirelessly every day for a year to protect our residents,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “This new data showcases just how important it is for nursing homes residents and staff, as well as the general public, to get the vaccine because it is clearly working.”</span><br></div><div><br></div><div>The report also shows cases have dropped to the lowest level since CMS started tracking weekly COVID cases in nursing homes last May.</div><div><br><img src="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/PublishingImages/Pages/Nursing-Homes-See-82-Percent-Decline-In-COVID-Cases-Indicating-The-Vaccines-Are-Working/pr2.jpg" alt="pr2.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br><br></div><p>Along with the lowest number of new COVID cases, new data also shows COVID related deaths in nursing homes declined by 63 percent since December 20, 2020.<br><br><img src="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/PublishingImages/Pages/Nursing-Homes-See-82-Percent-Decline-In-COVID-Cases-Indicating-The-Vaccines-Are-Working/pr3.jpg" alt="pr3.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><div>“Though this report brings hope, we cannot let our guard down. We must continue to encourage folks to get vaccinated, especially caregivers and staff,” added Parkinson. “Public health officials must also continue to ensure that long term care residents and staff remain the highest priority for accessing the vaccine, as the on-site clinics with CVS, Walgreens and other pharmacy partners are coming to a close.</div><div><br></div><div>“Most importantly, we call on the Administration to review its current guidance to nursing homes on restricting visitors and group activities,” concluded Parkinson. “With millions of residents and caregivers now fully protected thanks to the vaccines, residents must be able to safely reengage in meaningful activities and be reunited with their loved ones.”</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 aimed at encouraging 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. Last week, AHCA/NCAL also <a href="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/Nursing-Homes-Set-Goal-To-Get-75-Percent-Of-Staff-Vaccinated-By-June-30.aspx" target="_blank">announced</a> the nationwide goal of getting 75 percent of all long term staff vaccinated by June 30, 2021​.<br></div><div><br></div><div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D29-_T4iSU0&feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">Watch the press conference with Mark Parkinson and Dr. David Gifford​</a>​.<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>​<br><br></div>AHCA/NCAL released a report today showing nursing homes in the U.S. have seen the lowest number of new COVID cases since CMS started tracking back in May 2020, suggesting that the vaccines are working.Lowest Amount Of New COVID Cases Since CMS Started Tracking In May 2020
Black Coalition Against COVID to Host Vaccine Town Hallhttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Black-Coalition-Against-COVID-to-Host-Vaccine-Town-Hall.aspxBlack Coalition Against COVID to Host Vaccine Town Hall3/2/2021 5:00:00 AM<p>​​<span style="font-size:11pt;">The Black Coalition Against COVID (BCAC), in partnership with AHCA/NCAL and other national organizations, will be hosting a <a href="https://fb.me/e/6juzFgptR" target="_blank">livestreamed town hall</a> on Thursday, March 4 at 7 PM Eastern to address concerns about the COVID vaccines, particularly among direct care workers. More information from trusted sources will be provided to help member communities see more staff vaccinated. <br></span><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br>The town hall will feature senior leadership from the White House, CDC, and a variety of nationally recognized experts including physicians from Meharry Medical College and Morehouse School of Medicine. Attendees will also hear from front line workers including:<br></span><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br><ul><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">Miles Lee, Life Enrichment Coordinator at Forest Hills Senior Center</span></li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">Dr. Gregory Hall, Medical Director at Eliza Bryant Village </span></li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">Altonia Garret, Executive Director, Center for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity</span></li></ul></span><span style="font-size:11pt;">This event is open to care providers from all levels and backgrounds. You may join the livestream either via <a href="https://fb.me/e/6juzFgptR" target="_blank">Facebook Live</a> or <a href="http://youtube.com/blackdoctororg" target="_blank">YouTube</a>.</span></p>The BCAC, in partnership with AHCA/NCAL, will be hosting a livestreamed town hall on Thursday, March 4 at 7 PM Eastern.

​Guidance & Resources

 AHCA/NCAL

 Vaccines

Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care Program
Vaccine Guidance
Education and Promotion

 Treatments

HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Resources
FDA Resources

 CDC

Health Care Facility Resources

 CMS

Memos & Guidance
Resources

 Testing

Regulatory Requirements
Rapid Point-of-Care Antigen Tests

 Finance & Reimbursement

General
Medicare Advantage and ACOs
Medicaid

 Training Programs

AHCA/NCAL

 Additional Resources