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Take Action Now: Protect Access to Long Term Care for Vulnerable Residents!

As we continue to combat COVID-19 in our facilities, Congress must act now and put long term care first, ensuring that our facilities and front-line workers have the necessary resources to protect the residents we serve. Attached is an Issue Brief highlighting our concerns.

We need you to act now! 

Background:
Beyond COVID-19’s emotional and physical toll on our long term care residents and health care heroes, this pandemic has taken a financial toll—the worst in the history of the long term care industry. Providers are currently facing an economic crisis due to the high costs associated with COVID-19, chronic Medicaid underfunding, and a drastic decline in new patients. Without immediate aid, many long term care facilities will be forced to close their doors, threatening access to care for thousands of vulnerable residents.
We have several requests of Congress:

  1. As vaccinations are distributed, we ask that our residents and workers continue to be the top priority.  Please feel free to give narrative.
  2. $20 Billion Allocated to Long-Term Care 
    • We ask that depending on how Congress decides to move forward, either via reconciliation or regular order, that more money is dedicated to either an enhanced FMAP for long-term services and supports or more money is added to the Provider Relief Fund for SNF and AL.
  3. As operators and front-line staff that have worked in good faith, such cases should receive reasonable and time-limited immunity and COVID-19 liability protections.
  4. We ask that Congress continue to prioritize our access to testing and proper equipment and pass H.R. 6972 / S. 3768, the Nursing Home COVID-19 Protection and Prevention Act of 2020, that was introduced by Chairwoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) last Congress.
 
Decline in Census Population in Long Term-Care Facilities
  • One of the greatest challenges that our industry is currently facing is the drastic decline in patient census. Nationally, the average percentage of nursing home occupancy has dropped significantly, from 80.2% in January 2020 to 67.3% in January 2021. Among assisted living communities, the National Investment Center indicates that census dropped to 77.7% in the fourth quarter of 2020, down 7.4% since March, a record low for assisted living.

Attached is a list of the declining percentages by state.  Please tell your Member of Congress about the decline in your state.

Finally, the lowered census has directly resulted in the decline in revenue. Approximately 90% of nursing homes are operating at a loss and in 2020, they lost $11.3 billion and are projected to lose $22.6 billion this year.  Discuss how your facility has been directly affected by loss in revenue.

Please direct questions to Matt Smyth (msmyth@ahca.org) and Angela Sargent (asargent@ahca.org). 
 
 
 
 
 

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