The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the U.S.
Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), declared a public health emergency due to the continued spread of coronavirus.
AHCA/NCAL issued guidance to nursing homes and assisted living communities to limit all non-essential visits and screen essential personnel.
In a CNN interview, AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson called on the Centers for Disease Control to provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing for long term care communities in response to COVID-19, which he called “a perfect killing machine.”
The World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.
AHCA/NCAL warned states to avoid directing nursing homes to accept all hospital patients who have not been tested for COVID-19, or without offering proper support to nursing homes with resources, such as PPE.
AHCA/NCAL called for increased support for long term care staffers who were taking bold steps to care for their residents.
Mark Parkinson conducted an interview on Fox News, reiterating the need for more resources, saying, “This is a perfect storm. A highly contagious virus that is a near perfect killing machine to the elderly. And unfortunately, the very things that we need to fight it we don’t have. We’ve been pleading for a month or two that, if we get the masks, if we can get the equipment, we can stop this virus both inside of nursing homes and outside of it. But without it it’s going to be a very tough battle.”
Mark Parkinson conducted an interview on CNN, calling again for resources, saying “We are still fighting this incredible battle with two hands tied behind our back. On one hand is the lack of equipment…and the second hand tied behind our back is a lack of testing.”
AHCA/NCAL issued guidance to nursing homes and assisted living communities on reporting confirmed cases of COVID-19 to state officials as well as residents, family members and staff.
More than a month after AHCA/NCAL’s initial call for increased testing, Mark Parkinson was quoted by the Associated Press on testing needs.
“The country was so focused on making sure that hospitals were fully equipped and ready for a surge of admissions, we were really left behind.”Mark Parkinson
The Centers for Disease Control revised its priority groups for testing, adding long term care residents and staff with symptoms of COVID-19 to the highest priority.
Mark Parkinson appeared on CNN again, urging that long term care residents and staff be made the priority for testing, equipment and resources.
AHCA/NCAL once again called for the prioritization of long term care providers for equipment and testing.
CMS announced the formation of an independent commission to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the long term care industry’s response to COVID-19. AHCA/NCAL applauded this decision.
In a New York Times letter to the editor, Mark Parkinson highlighted the heroic efforts of long term care staff, and called for additional resources including PPE, testing and staffing support.
Long-term care providers are facing a historic threat from COVID-19, and our caregivers are among the heroes of this fight.Mark Parkinson
AHCA/NCAL published the results of a new survey that showed growing support among voters for increased funding to nursing homes and assisted living communities as they battled COVID-19. 72% of voters agreed that a lack of government funding had a negative impact on the quality of care that residents of these facilities are receiving.
AHCA/NCAL sent the nation’s governors a Workforce Roadmap to offer ideas that will help provide additional staff support on the frontlines.
“Governors must take immediate action to help protect those currently on the frontlines and take proactive steps to recruit, train and deploy additional caregivers to ensure that residents continue to receive the daily care they need in our facilities. This is an ‘all hands-on deck’ situation.”Mark Parkinson
HHS announced $4.9 billion in funding for skilled nursing facilities. AHCA/NCAL applauded this announcement, but called for additional support – especially for assisted living providers who still had not received any direct aid.
Mark Parkinson was interviewed on Fox News Sunday. He spoke about the impact of case numbers in the surrounding community on long term care providers and the need for increased testing to reopen facilities and reconnect residents with their loved ones.
An analysis conducted by AHCA/NCAL found that testing all 4.4 million long term care residents and staff only once would cost $672 million.
AHCA/NCAL sent a letter to HHS and FEMA, requesting support and funding for assisted living providers who primarily care for seniors, but have not received any federal aid.
“The price of inaction would be devastating – to our residents, to their loved ones, and to those who work in assisted living communities who see their residents as family members.”Mark Parkinson and Scott Tittle
NCAL released the results of a survey showing that more than half of assisted living communities had less than a two-week supply of PPE and more than 70 percent were being forced to reuse PPE.
The Centers for Disease Control revised guidance to nursing home personnel on wearing face masks from wearing around suspected or confirmed cases to wearing a face mask at all times while they are in the facility.
AHCA/NCAL released a survey of its members, which found that 87% nursing homes and assisted living communities are having to wait two days or more for test results.
AHCA/NCAL sent a letter to the National Governors Association warning state governors of imminent outbreaks at nursing homes and assisted living facilities given the major spikes in new cases, combined with serious personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages and significant delays in testing results for long term care residents and caregivers.
NCAL signed a letter with Argentum, LeadingAge and the American Senior Housing Association requesting Congressional leadership to provide assistance to assisted living and senior living providers in their next COVID-19 stimulus package.
“As Congress considers next steps in its response, our communities and the millions of seniors under our care must be prioritized to ensure that senior living remains a viable option for the foreseeable future.”
AHCA/NCAL called on Congress to provide funding to nursing homes and assisted living communities for testing, PPE and staffing support. Additionally, AHCA/NCAL called for long term care communities to be prioritized for vaccine distribution.
President Donald Trump announced an additional $5 billion in additional Provider Relief Funds allocated for nursing homes. AHCA/NCAL applauded the announcement, but called on Congress to prioritize additional resources and support for long term care providers in their next COVID-19 legislation.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a $5 billion allocation for nursing homes from the Provider Relief Fund. $2.5 billion was provided in upfront funding to support increased testing, staffing and PPE needs with additional funding available for those establishing COVID-19 isolation facilities.
AHCA/NCAL released a report showing nursing homes in the U.S. have experienced an alarming spike in new COVID-19 cases due to community spread among the general population.
Mark Parkinson joined Kate Bolduan on CNN Newsroom to discuss how coronavirus spikes across the nation are impacting long term care communities.
AHCA/NCAL released the results of a survey of U.S. nursing homes. According to the data, providers are facing increased costs and declining revenue as a result of COVID-19, and 72% of nursing homes said they won’t be able to sustain operations another year at the current pace.
The National Center for Assisted Living released the results of a national survey of assisted living providers on their financial situation amidst growing costs and declining revenues due to COVID-19. Unlike nursing homes, assisted living providers have not received any direct federal funding or support for personal protective equipment or testing.
In The Hill, AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson wrote an op-ed calling for ongoing support for long term care providers as they fight COVID-19.
“Federal and state governments must once again refocus their efforts on long term care.”Mark Parkinson – President and CEO, AHCA/NCAL
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new testing requirements for nursing homes. The new rules required nursing homes to routinely test staff and offer tests to residents when there is an outbreak or residents show symptoms.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that assisted living providers could apply for COVID-19 relief funding as provided by the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. NCAL Executive Director Scott Tittle commented on the announcement, thanking HHS for their efforts to prioritize our nation’s assisted living communities.
“This financial aid is welcome news for the tens of thousands of assisted living providers and the hundreds of thousands of seniors they serve.”Scott Tittle – Executive Director, National Center for Assisted Living
AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson spoke at a public listening session organized by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). In his remarks, he emphasized the importance of getting a vaccine to long term care providers who have been on the front lines of the pandemic protecting our nation’s seniors.
HHS announced a $2 billion incentive payment plan for nursing homes as part of the $5 billion Provider Relief Fund distribution announced in early August. Nursing homes will have their performance measured on their ability to keep new COVID infection rates and mortality low among residents.
AHCA/NCAL President & CEO Mark Parkinson published an op-ed on LinkedIn discussing the steps public health officials should take so long term care facilities can safely resume visitations.
The Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes released a report on the safety and quality in nursing homes in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson responded to the report and attended a discussion on the findings at the White House.
“We are pleased to see the Commission acknowledge what we have been saying from the beginning – there must be shared responsibility with public health officials prioritizing our residents in long term care and helping facilities acquire necessary resources to combat this global pandemic.”Mark Parkinson, AHCA/NCAL President and CEO
AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson had a letter to the editor published in The New York Times highlighting the lack of assistance long term care providers received at the beginning of the pandemic, as well as long standing staffing shortages and low Medicaid reimbursement rates. He called on Congress to help us address this historic challenge.
“Though nursing homes care for one of the most vulnerable populations, the focus remained on hospitals. Lack of access to personal protective equipment and testing was a serious challenge.”Mark Parkinson, AHCA/NCAL President and CEO
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued revised guidance providing detailed recommendations on ways nursing homes can safely facilitate visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
AHCA/NCAL President and CEO penned an op-ed in Provider Magazine calling attention to the lack of support long term care providers received early in the pandemic and called for additional support from Congress in COVID-19 relief funding and future Medicaid reimbursement reforms.
“Caregivers in nursing homes and assisted living communities have done everything in their power to protect our most vulnerable from COVID-19. Despite unprecedented challenges and delayed support early on, they have bravely answered the call of duty and have saved thousands of lives.”Mark Parkinson, AHCA/NCAL President and CEO
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) urged Congress to provide an additional $100 billion in funding for the Provider Relief Fund and allocate a sizable portion to long term care providers.
The Trump administration announced a plan to distribute 150 million rapid COVID-19 tests, including 18 million for nursing homes and 15 million for assisted living communities.
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) sent a letter to the National Governors Association (NGA) and state governors urging them to prioritize COVID-19 vaccine distribution to all long term care communities.
“Given that long term care facilities care for our most vulnerable when it comes to this virus and employ hundreds of thousands of essential health care workers, we urge that your plans to the CDC make residents and staff of these settings the highest priority for the vaccine.”Mark Parkinson and Scott Tittle
AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson and Massachusetts Senior Care Association President Tara Gregorio wrote an op-ed in InsideSources expressing the need for continued support as long term care providers continue to battle COVID-19.
“While we have made great progress in implementing and executing protocols to protect our staff and residents, the fight against COVID-19 is far from over.”Mark Parkinson and Tara Gregorio
The Department of Health and Human Services announced a partnership with CVS and Walgreens to deliver and administer COVID-19 vaccines to long term care facilities when they are available.
The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living released a report showing U.S. long term care communities could see a third spike of increasing new COVID-19 cases due to community spread among the general population.
In response to a recent decision by State Administrative Law Judge Matt Perkins regarding Life Care Center of Kirkland in Washington State, AHCA/NCAL President & CEO Mark Parkinson penned an op-ed in Morning Consult calling for more coordination between providers, public health officials and lawmakers to protect vulnerable long term care residents.
The United States Public Interest Research Group released a report that nursing homes were still experiencing shortages of personal protective equipment seven months into the pandemic.
AHCA/NCAL released a report showing increased COVID-19 cases in nursing homes as a result of community spread among the general population. During the week of October 18, 43% of new COVID cases in nursing homes were from Midwest states with major spikes in community spread in the upper parts of the region.
AHCA/NCAL released a statement applauding H.R. 8540, the Keeping Seniors Safe from COVID-19 Through Home Design Act. The bill would commission a study by the federal government that would develop best practices in senior housing design to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases.
“As we look to the future, we must take the lessons we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to adopt meaningful reforms that will ensure long term care providers are equipped to handle future public health crises.”Mark Parkinson – President and CEO, AHCA/NCAL
AHCA/NCAL released a statement following the 2020 election congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and all those elected to Congress. President and CEO Mark Parkinson also expressed the need for immediate action from Congress to get long term care providers the resources they need.
AHCA/NCAL released updated data showing a spike in new COVID-19 cases in nursing homes, due to community spread among the general public.
AHCA/NCAL urged Americans to exercise caution around holiday gatherings to limit community spread of COVID-19 and stop the virus from entering long term care communities.
“We understand everyone wants to see their family and friends during the holidays, but we really need to consider our parents and grandparents who are living in our nation’s long term care facilities.”Dr. David Gifford – Chief Medical Officer, AHCA/NCAL
AHCA/NCAL once again reiterated requests for Congress to prioritize long term care providers, and the vulnerable seniors they care for, in the next COVID-19 relief funding package.
AHCA/NCAL released a report showing that weekly new COVID-19 cases in nursing homes had reached a record high due to community spread among the general population.
Mark Parkinson, AHCA/NCAL President & CEO, appeared on CNN with Kate Bolduan to discuss the need for caution from the general public celebrating the holidays and prioritization for long term care residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson appeared on Good Morning America to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on long term care communities as cases reached record highs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend health care workers and long term care residents receive the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available. AHCA/NCAL applauded this decision, and called on governors to implement this guidance to protect long term care residents and staff.
AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson joined The News with Shepard Smith on CNBC to discuss the need for long term care residents and staff to be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine.
An updated report from AHCA/NCAL noted that nursing home cases are approaching record-breaking cases and deaths due to high community spread around the country. The week of November 15 saw more than 18,000 new resident cases and 2,000 resident deaths.
President-Elect Joe Biden nominated California Attorney General Xavier Becerra for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). AHCA/NCAL congratulated Becerra and expressed optimism that they could work together to improve long term care using lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.
An advisory panel formally recommended that the Food and Drug Administration authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. AHCA/NCAL has previously expressed the need for long term care staff and residents to be prioritized to receive the vaccine once available.
AHCA/NCAL released the results from a survey of nursing homes, which found two-thirds won’t make it another year given increased costs due to COVID.
AHCA/NCAL launched a branded effort to encourage long term care residents and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
AHCA/NCAL released an updated report showing record-breaking numbers of new COVID-19 cases among nursing home residents.
AHCA/NCAL released a statement criticizing the latest COVID-19 relief package, calling for more financial support for long term care providers who are facing increased costs and imminent closures.
In a letter to Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services, AHCA/NCAL urged the federal government to extend the COVID-19 public health emergency beyond its January 23, 2021 expiration date so health care providers can continue to offer the most efficient and effective care possible during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
AHCA/NCAL released a statement regarding the pace of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in long term care communities.
“This is a monumental effort to vaccinate millions of our nation’s vulnerable seniors and their caregivers, and we are confident and grateful that everyone involved is working as hard and as fast as they can while still ensuring we get this right.”Mark Parkinson, AHCA/NCAL CEO and President
AHCA/NCAL called on Congress for immediate support to help long term care providers continue to fight COVID-19.
AHCA/NCAL called for workforce support as long term care staff are stretched thin and exhausted from the pandemic.
“COVID-19 is taking a considerable toll, physically and emotionally, on our health care heroes in long term care … Burnout is a real concern for all health care workers during this pandemic.”Dr. David Gifford – Chief Medical Officer, American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living
The Center for Health Policy Evaluation in Long Term Care (CHPE) released an analysis indicating that COVID-19 vaccines may be reducing spread of the virus in nursing homes. AHCA/NCAL called for additional research to help expedite the reopening on long term care facilities to visitors and group activities.
AHCA/NCAL sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asking for additional research into the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines among the long term care population to help expedite the safe reopening of these facilities.
AHCA/NCAL conducted an analysis that estimated that the long term care industry is expected to lose $94 billion over a two-year period (2020-2021). The same analysis estimated that without immediate assistance, more than 1,600 nursing homes could close in 2021.
AHCA and LeadingAge, with support from the CDC, announced the nationwide goal of getting 75% of the approximately 1.5 million nursing home staff vaccinated by June 30, 2021.