​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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. 


How You Can Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19


Please note tha​t skilled nursing providers should consult the guidance put forth by CMS and the CDC, and assisted living communities should consult CDC 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: #GetVaccinated! Regularly wash your hands and use PPE where appropriate. Stay home if you're sick.​ ​
Limit Interactions: Implement social distancing within the facility where possible to help prevent the spread of infection.
PPE: Regularly review federal and state guidance on appropriate use of masks, gowns, gloves, etc. and maintain your inventory​.
Communicate: Report suspected or confirmed cases to authorities. Keep residents, families and staff informed about your developing situation. Prepare for media inquiries.
Engagement: Follow government guidelines for safe in-person visitations, keep residents connected with loved ones remotely, and offer 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. ​


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 in certain circumstances the federal government and many state governments are restricting visitors to nursing homes and assisted living communities. Adaptations (e.g., limited indoor and outdoor visits) and exceptions on a case-by-case basis (e.g., end-of-life or compassionate care 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. Learn more about how you can prepare for a visit to a long term care facility
    • 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.​


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 in certain circumstances 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.  
  • If you haven't already, get the COVID-19 vaccine. Your facility is working with a pharmacy or state/local officials to offer vaccinations​ 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.​



NHSN Temporarily Pauses SAMS Level 3 Requirement for Reporting COVID-19 Vaccination Data Temporarily Pauses SAMS Level 3 Requirement for Reporting COVID-19 Vaccination Data10/6/2021 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div>Last month, NHSN Facility Administrators received an email from the NHSN system explaining that NHSN had automatically completed the facility’s monthly reporting plan (MRP). In previous communications, NHSN had notified facilities that they would not be able to upload their COVID-19 vaccination data unless they completed their MRP, which requires SAMS Level 3 access. However, recognizing the challenge in gaining SAMS Level 3 access, <strong>NHSN has temporarily paused this requirement to allow facilities to report their COVID-19 vaccination data following the normal process.  </strong></div><div><br></div><div>Although SAMS Level 3 access is not required at this time to complete COVID-19 vaccination data, <strong>AHCA/NCAL anticipates this to be a temporary pause and strongly encourages all facilities to have at least two users with SAMS Level 3 access.</strong> To upgrade to SAMS Level 3 access, follow <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;">these directions​</a>. </div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><br><br></div><p>​</p>Last month, NHSN Facility Administrators received an email from the NHSN system explaining that NHSN had automatically completed the facility’s monthly reporting plan (MRP)
Assisted Living COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Clinic Toolkit Living COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Clinic Toolkit.aspxAssisted Living COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Clinic Toolkit10/6/2021 4:00:00 AM<div>Today, NCAL released a new vaccine toolkit specifically designed for assisted living providers to assist in their efforts to access the vaccine booster. These materials include booster clinic guidance for assisted living providers. Additional items are sample letters for family consent and staff consent. <br></div><div><ul><li><span style="text-decoration:underline;">​</span><a href="/Survey-Regulatory-Legal/Emergency-Preparedness/Documents/COVID19/Assisted%20Living/Get-Your-AL-Community-Ready-for-A-Booster-Shot-Clinic.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" style="text-decoration:underline;">Booster Clinic Guidance</a><br></li><li><a href="/Survey-Regulatory-Legal/Emergency-Preparedness/Documents/COVID19/Assisted%20Living/COVID-19-Vaccine-Booster-Template-Letter-For-Consent-Family.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;">Family Consent</a><br></li><li><a href="/Survey-Regulatory-Legal/Emergency-Preparedness/Documents/COVID19/Assisted%20Living/COVID-19-Vaccine-Booster-Template-Letter-for-Consent-Staff.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;">Staff Consent</a><br></li></ul></div><p>​<br></p>Today, NCAL released a new vaccine toolkit specifically designed for assisted living providers to assist in their efforts to access the vaccine booster.
AHCA Partners with Exponent and MatrixCare on New Effort to Track COVID-19 and Future Public Health Threats Facing Nursing Homes Partners with Exponent and MatrixCare on New Effort to Track COVID-19 and Future Public Health Threats Facing Nursing Homes10/4/2021 4:00:00 AM<p><strong></strong><span style="font-size:11pt;"><strong>WASHINGTON, D.C.</strong> – The American Health Care Association (AHCA), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and long term care facilities across the country, has partnered with Exponent Inc. and MatrixCare on a new effort that will enable comprehensive tracking of COVID-19 and future public health threats facing nursing homes. The Long Term Care Data Cooperative, funded by the National Institute on Aging, will use nursing home residents’ electronic medical records and associated data to create comprehensive resident electronic health records to help providers monitor their residents’ needs and outcomes. Additionally, the health records system will support public health reporting as well as allow researchers to generate real-world evidence on different treatments and care practices for the elderly and individuals with disabilities in nursing homes.</span></p><div><br></div><div>“We are thrilled to have these partners join us for this important new initiative,” said Mark Parkinson, AHCA president and CEO. “While we know more about COVID than a year ago, there is still so much more we need to learn. This innovative system will help improve and save lives now and, in the future.”</div><div><br></div><div>Together with <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Brown University</a>, a pioneer of research studies using integrated data on residents that have helped the long term care community, Exponent, Inc., an interdisciplinary and scientific consulting company, and electronic health records (EHR) software firm MatrixCare, the AHCA-led effort will assemble the largest and most comprehensive health records database from geographically and structurally diverse nursing homes and residents. </div><div><br></div><div>“Thirty-years ago, the minimum data set made it possible to characterize the needs of nursing home residents and to document the impact of new treatments and policies,” said Dr. Vincent Mor, professor of health services, policy, and practice at Brown University’s School of Public Health. “This initiative transforms this effort by linking ‘real-time’ clinical data, including lab results and orders, in ways that can transform the delivery of care to the increasingly vulnerable population of nursing home residents.”</div><div><br></div><div>In addition to curating and normalizing diverse data sources and maintaining the health records system, Exponent will leverage its expertise to develop insights from the data to support providers’ delivery of care. </div><div> </div><div>"This project brings more than curated electronic health records to the long term care industry as they navigate the continuously evolving pandemic," said<a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank"> Dr. David Dore</a>, a principal scientist at Exponent. "This public-private partnership brings together a holistic, multidisciplinary team of experts who can translate the data and deliver tailored information to stakeholders to advance delivery of care in skilled nursing facilities."</div><div><br></div><div>“We are proud to be one of the first EHRs to join the Long Term Care Data Cooperative to combat the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and pave the way for innovation and improvement in a post-pandemic world,” said MatrixCare President and CEO Steve Pacicco. “At <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">MatrixCare</a>, we are deeply committed to using data to both improve the quality of patient and resident care, while optimizing organizational efficiencies. This collaboration underscores the power of data-driven intelligence and interoperability to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of seniors and empower those who care for them.”</div><div><br></div><div>A major barrier to developing appropriate clinical and operational responses to the novel coronavirus has been the lack of comprehensive data. While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have data reporting systems, they do not provide sufficient information to understand the impact of the disease and associated vaccines on the lives of residents.  </div><div><br></div><div>This multi-year initiative will continue to characterize and monitor the immediate and long-term effects of COVID-19 and its vaccines among residents and to be better prepared for future public health threats. </div><div><br></div><div>Over time, the Cooperative will serve three broad functions:<br><br></div><div><ul><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">Assist providers with health care operations, including care coordination for residents who transfer between skilled nursing facilities.</span></li><li>Provide public health monitoring for medical conditions and infections, including COVID-19, to be securely shared with relevant health authorities.</li><li>Identify research opportunities for National Institute of Health funded academic institutions and commercial companies.</li></ul></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" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">​</a>.<br></div>AHCA has partnered with Exponent Inc. and MatrixCare on a new effort that will enable comprehensive tracking of COVID-19 and future public health threats facing nursing homes.Long Term Care Data Cooperative to help providers monitor residents’ needs and outcomes
PRF Phase 4 & Rural Distribution Application Open Phase 4 & Rural Distribution Application Open9/29/2021 4:00:00 AM<div>The Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 and Rural Distributions application <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;">webpage</a> is now live. It offers an array of guidance and new educational opportunities including additional webinar dates in October. Notable materials are: <br></div><div>​<br></div><div><ul><li>​The <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;">Provider Relief Fund Application and Attestation Portal </a><br></li><li><a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;">Application Instructions Webpages</a></li><li>Terms and Conditions<br></li><ul><li style="text-decoration:underline;">​<a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Phase 4 - Terms and Conditions </a></li><li><span style="text-decoration:underline;">​​</span><a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ARP Rural - Terms and Conditions</span> </a></li></ul></ul></div><div><strong>The application will close on October 26, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. ET</strong>. Applications must undergo a number of validation checks before financial information is submitted. <strong>Providers are encouraged to begin their application as soon as possible to ensure they are able to meet the deadline</strong>. Information on the documents and information needed to apply can be found in the resources following.<br></div><div><br></div><div>In order to streamline the application process and minimize administrative burdens, providers will apply for both programs in a single application. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) will also use existing Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program, and Medicare claims data in calculating portions of these payments.<br></div><div><br></div><div>Other HRSA resources include: <br></div><div><ul><li><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Application Instructions</a></span> (<a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;">Download PDF file</a>)</li><li><a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">S</span><span style="font-size:11pt;text-decoration:underline;">ample </span><span style="font-size:11pt;text-decoration:underline;">Application F</span><span style="font-size:11pt;text-decoration:underline;">orm</span></a></li><li><a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank"><span style="font-size:11pt;text-decoration:underline;"></span></a><a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank" style="font-size:11pt;">“<span style="text-decoration:underline;">How to Apply” Flow Chart</span></a></li><li><a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank" style="font-size:11pt;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"></span></a><a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank" style="font-size:11pt;text-decoration:underline;">Annual Revenues from Patient Care Worksheet</a></li><li><a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank" style="font-size:11pt;text-decoration:underline;">​Annual Revenues Adjustment Worksheet</a></li></ul></div><div><strong>General Program Information</strong></div><div><ul><li><a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;">Fact Sheet - General</a></li><li><a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;">Fact Sheet - Complex Organizational Structures</a><br></li></ul></div><div>HRSA also updated its <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;">searchable FAQs</a> and the <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;">FAQ Document in PDF</a> adding Phase 4 and Rural Distribution eligibility ad application FAQs as well as new PRF Reporting FAQs. <br><br></div>

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