AHCA/NCAL Sends Letter to Congressional Leaders Calling for Additional Resources for Long-Term Care Residents and Staff

WASHINGTON DC- The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) today sent a letter to congressional leaders thanking them for their continued support of long-term care residents and staff and urging them to take additional measures to ensure the safety and protection of America’s most vulnerable.

In the letter, Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL, outlined the association’s specific demands to Congress that would provide nursing homes and assisted living communities with the resources needed to combat COVID-19 and address the critical challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic. Specifically, in upcoming appropriations bills, AHCA/NCAL is calling for a replenishment of the Provider Relief Fund with $20 billion allocated to long-term care, as well as an extension of the current backlog of sequestration cuts. Medicare Recovery and Medicare Accelerated and Advanced Payments Recovery.

“Nursing homes and assisted living communities are facing the worst job losses of any health profession, and the shortage is impacting seniors’ access to care,” Parkinson wrote. “More than half of nursing homes were limiting new admissions in recent months, at a time when overwhelmed hospitals needed our help to free up valuable beds due to the surge of Omicron. However, with your help, healthcare providers, including those in long-term care, can access the key tools available to help meet this unprecedented challenge.

Residents and staff of long-term care facilities have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, as the virus only targeted seniors with chronic illnesses and exposed long-standing issues within the industry. Chronic government underfunding, coupled with labor recruitment difficulties, has been exacerbated by the global crisis. The number of long-term care facilities forced to limit admissions or close altogether due to staffing shortages and financial problems continues to rise.

The letter also contained a call to Congress to encourage the Department of Health and Human Services to extend the public health emergency until the end of 2022.

These measures would be important steps to help invest in the frontline caregivers our country’s seniors need, so they continue to have access to high-quality long-term care.

Read the full letter.