AHCA/NCAL Issues Statement Following CMS Announcement On Point Of Care Testing For Nursing Homes
Washington, D.C. – 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 the following statement after Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma announced today that COVID-19 point-of-care testing devices will be distributed to 2,000 nursing homes across the country.
The following statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL:
“Today’s announcement from Administrator Verma is welcome news for long term care residents, staff and providers. Repeated, ongoing testing is the only way we are going to beat this virus. Regular testing of nursing home and assisted living staff is a vital step in controlling the spread of COVID-19, but is not effective without obtaining timely test results. For nursing homes and assisted living communities to protect residents and staff, we need on-site testing with reliable and rapid results.
“The facilities that will receive these machines will be able to conduct on-site testing and receive timely results. Recently, 87% of nursing homes and assisted living communities said obtaining test results back from lab companies is taking multiple days or more to process.
“Due to the nature of this virus, every interaction is a risk. Social distancing is not an option, as residents need personal, one-on-one care and assistance with daily activities. That is why nursing homes and assisted living communities have been calling for access to additional testing, personal protective equipment and staffing. With the proper resources, long term care facilities can better identify who has the virus and make tactical decisions to protect residents and staff. We look forward to working with HHS and Administrator Verma to expand this program and make rapid testing widely available for more providers in the coming months.”
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 nearly 5 million seniors and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our facilities each year. For more information, please visit www.ahcancal.org or www.ncal.org.