The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) on Dec. 16 praised the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for its distribution of the Phase 3 Provider Relief Funding, which includes $1.1 billion for nursing homes battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mark Parkinson, president and chief executive officer of AHCA/NCAL, said the nursing home profession greatly appreciates HHS distributing this crucial funding to nursing homes and assisted living communities.

“Federal aid is critical during this time when providers are dealing with record cases and deaths due to high community spread, and, therefore, dedicating extensive resources to fight this virus,” he said.

“Our health care heroes are doing everything they can to prevent COVID-19 from spreading further, but the level of COVID nationwide in communities puts serious strain on our workforce, supplies, and testing capacity. Since it will likely take months to vaccinate our population, these payments give our providers a fighting chance to battle this horrible virus and keep our doors open.”