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Nursing Homes Unveil New Goal to Have 75 Percent of Staff Vaccinated by June 30<p>With evidence COVID-19 vaccinations are helping to drive down infections in nursing homes and other long term care settings, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and LeadingAge are upping the ante by announcing a new nationwide goal of getting 75 percent of the approximately 1.5 million nursing home staff vaccinated by June 30.</p><p>Working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the industry leaders said now is the time to act even bolder on staff vaccinations.</p><p>“With COVID-19 vaccinations being distributed across long term care facilities over the past two months, we have already seen a decline in cases in nursing homes, indicating that the vaccines are working,” said Mark Parkinson, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of AHCA. </p><p>“Many of our staff continue to be excited about the vaccines and the hope they represent, but some caregivers still have questions,” he said. “We are continuing to inform our staff about the credibility and safety of the vaccines through our #GetVaccinated campaign, and we hope this goal will further encourage more of our staff members to get the vaccine.” </p><p>In December, AHCA said it launched <a href="https&#58;//www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Pages/GetVaccinated.aspx">#GetVaccinated ,</a> a national campaign aimed at encouraging all long term care residents, families, and staff members to consent to the vaccine as well as provide credible information to help inform their decision. </p><p>“Achieving a high rate of staff vaccinations will be a game changer for nursing homes. Real progress has been made in vaccinating nursing home residents. Now we must also achieve high rates of staff vaccinations,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge. </p><p>“It’s critical to acknowledge the reasons for vaccine hesitancy are real and varied, and staff concerns must be understood and thoughtfully addressed as we work toward this goal. LeadingAge is committed to doing all we can with our partners and the [Biden] administration to ensure staff at our mission-driven members—at nursing homes and other care settings—have the information, conversations, and support they need to get vaccinated.” </p><p>LeadingAge, in partnership with the <a href="https&#58;//blackcoalitionagainstcovid.org/">Black Coalition Against COVID </a>(BCAC), is sponsoring a national town hall on March 4 to address concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine among all levels of staff working in aging services communities. </p><p>The association also regularly <a href="https&#58;//leadingage.org/covid-19-vaccine-information-and-resources">shares important vaccine resources </a>and hosts special webinars to connect members with experts on vaccine education. </p><p>According to a preliminary <a href="https&#58;//www.ahcancal.org/Data-and-Research/Center-for-HPE/Documents/CHPE-Report-Vaccine-Effectiveness-Feb2021.pdf">analysis, </a>COVID cases decreased at a faster rate among nursing homes that had completed their first vaccine clinic, compared to those nearby that had not yet administered the vaccine in the first month of the vaccine rollout. Recent Centers for Medicare &amp; Medicaid Services (CMS) data show cases and deaths in nursing homes are declining rapidly, which indicates the vaccines are reducing the spread of the virus, according to AHCA. </p><p>“We look forward to working with President Biden’s administration and the CDC to make this goal happen,” Parkinson said. </p><p>“We cannot chance slowing the positive progress we have already made. Long term care facilities have been at the forefront of the pandemic since the beginning, and our staff care for some of the most susceptible to the virus, making it even more imperative that their caregivers get vaccinated,” he said.</p><p>“The sooner we can get more of our staff vaccinated, the sooner we will be able to defeat this deadly virus.”​</p>2021-02-25T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/mask_4.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />COVID-19;CaregivingPatrick ConnoleCMS data show cases and deaths in nursing homes are declining rapidly, which indicates the vaccines are helping drive down infections.
Data Show Drastic Drop in COVID Cases in Long Term Care Facilities<p>COVID-19 cases in nursing homes, assisted living communities, and other long term care settings have dropped dramatically over the past two months, and new evidence shows the positive turn of events is directly related to the widespread vaccinations of residents and staff.</p><p>Recent data from the COVID Tracking Project, which includes residents in nursing homes, assisted living, and related settings, combined with nursing home-specific information from the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), depict a virus in retreat. </p><p>For example, the Tracking Project numbers show that for the Feb. 18 week, U.S. long term care providers had 9,674 cases of coronavirus in their buildings. This number compares with 19,814 cases for the week of Feb. 11, 28,642 cases for the week of Feb. 4, and 50,131 cases the week of Jan. 28.</p><p>A December 2020 peak saw more than 72,000 cases reported in long term care, the data show.</p><p>As for the number of buildings experiencing an outbreak, for the week of Feb. 18, the Tracking Project said 139 facilities saw new COVID outbreaks. This compares to early and mid-January levels of more than 1,100 to 1,400 facilities recording new infections.</p><p>National media have noticed the trend, with a report in Axios on Feb. 23 noting that the large declines in long term care infections are tied to the vaccination program spearheaded by the federal government that has seen some 4.5 million residents or staff of nursing homes get at least one vaccination dose thus far. </p><p>As for weekly deaths from COVID, Tracking Project data show 4,239 lives lost in long term care facilities for the week of Feb. 18 (including new deaths from Indiana and Ohio that were not previously recorded from long term care) versus late January when nearly 11,000 deaths per week were seen.</p><p>For nursing homes only, AHCA/NCAL’s Dashboard, which updates COVID cases and trends, shows that for the most recent week of complete data (Jan. 31) new resident cases have declined by 67 percent since their high point from a month ago (Dec. 20) from more than 30,000 new resident cases to 11,000 cases. Deaths have also declined by 47 percent in the same time frame.</p><p>Added to these new statistics is a report from Scotland that the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine reduced COVID-related hospitalizations among the elderly by 85 percent. Further, the study said the AstraZeneca (Oxford) vaccine cut seniors' hospitalizations by 94 percent. The AstraZeneca vaccine is not yet available in the United States.</p><p>According to Axios, Scottish researchers analyzed a broader data set covering the entire Scottish population of 5.4 million, of which 1.1 million people have received a first dose of the Pfizer or Oxford vaccines. Then, they compared the vaccinated with unvaccinated, “and they saw strong evidence of protection,” the report said.</p><p>From December until mid-February, around 8,000 people ended up in the hospital with COVID in Scotland, but only 58 of those individuals came from the vaccinated group.</p><p>See the COVID Tracking Project data at <a href="https&#58;//covidtracking.com/nursing-homes-long-term-care-facilities?utm_source=newsletter&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosvitals&amp;stream=top">https&#58;//covidtracking.com/nursing-homes-long-term-care-facilities?utm_source=newsletter&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosvitals&amp;stream=top </a>and AHCA/NCAL Dashboard at <a href="https&#58;//www.ahcancal.org/Data-and-Research/Pages/default.aspx#covid-dashboard">https&#58;//www.ahcancal.org/Data-and-Research/Pages/default.aspx#covid-dashboard.</a></p>2021-02-23T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/0220_News1.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />COVID-19;CaregivingPatrick ConnoleNew evidence shows the positive turn of events is directly related to widespread vaccinations of residents and staff.
Analysis Sees $94 Billion in Industry Losses Over Two Years<p>​The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) released new <a href="https&#58;//app.bitdam.com/api/v1.0/links/rewrite_click/?rewrite_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJyZXdyaXRlX2lkIjoiNjAyNTRhODc0NTczYmIxMGQxYzQ4ODg2IiwidXJsIjoiIiwib3JnYW5pemF0aW9uX2lkIjo0NzAwfQ.8ST5zW4uXRgZao_tmzFlGZG25Dv2XJz8ENPDrj2mw8M&amp;url=http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t%3D3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2%26_m%3D3689a0bc6d554bdda168a419a86d26b0%26_e%3Dti-NXvu8dkFNc4NHqlPXNTt0dFNg-Hlduw17X7KW6nFTMhlUW65HfuC1vZPAElT3j8_UJoHH7zfQ1gDRLVQxsYdyI92FW-O_6ybQLqd9lGfkPtJ3giqj5yF3CFB1nmsyPmfhAmV94FAkcApZI0HNADwS3VCjXPnXlo23BiTj486o5e9PIYohFbdgPV01W-ddI0o5A5DHD35t9JWQzy5SEP9eRElu8VmME_YtzwVkYk5kIWTSDFxuJ_BxI4uwuFpzHe7W-DOZyyqdRCkteWQEyP81Pu_WnM2o0RsskcL5LWNwDzGdROEp0GPisFyLbnvDAVqemil8iV6wqfoQLarFWjbUPPd_59JimwMKrC8ye0MjnV0GVmlWvEIlOfjOAts-s_ywiVvbS3Oxj7D15-ZAfwdCqfv-wDfU77d5mUPsR8h2bGkmFSga2bkJb85JSSqquNEuvGZGEBg8zgXlcCQ8rq5dOl0j6fk1zVO2obdi9Sc1G71XXIRZmZqsBq3ZTHjwZhzlnG4UdG2dZ_d0SSgFEDRRdUPrjav5M-yKZx-y2arCspYv3GUT2yMbw1t0FAjYps9N5Ms8pamQwMD-X9y8o14nTLfw54atCb1BxjWcRpQmnm-htzFizQdo_x5axph1ki-J67Uq3tzRIx0hHQLyzuFwVaFRrBaFH_Xe0ZLAG8UAaQK9cfbKZ_myRHwW2HOQRZuiSUSprMGxdjcL5MfWlTFTfDUoJbkMBuo75PhzqpD9CX66Lx8T4S0Ji_XpyNCQg7ZOv86OVO5mxV1XKHTjCkV999vySNFttbHBFA8zqyrctPf448AaSHs3Clo0FRUoaBqLU_ivwqdRZm4ywL5U5FxNid1g8J1PYasomO2lScSZuftxo9MBV3wzWjOe2uUh">analysis </a>that estimates the long term care industry will lose $94 billion over a two-year period (2020-2021) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated increased costs and lost business that the pandemic has wrought. </p><p>Nursing homes spend roughly $30 billion on personal protective equipment (PPE) and additional staffing alone, the report said. In addition to increased expenditures, long term care facilities have suffered a sharp decline in occupancy—a situation AHCA/NCAL President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Parkinson called a “business nightmare.” </p><p>“In three short months, we’ve gone from 71 percent to 67 percent [occupancy] … We need census to recover at a rate of about 1 percent a month, and while that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s not as easy as it might seem … If the census doesn’t recover at all, or recover slower than that, the sector has a real problem,” he said. <br> <br> The same AHCA/NCAL analysis estimated that without immediate assistance, more than 1,600 nursing homes could close in 2021—more than 10 times the number of facilities that closed last year. The average nursing home has the capacity to serve approximately 100 residents. <br> <br> Emmett Reed, executive director of the Florida Health Care Association, also <a href="https&#58;//app.bitdam.com/api/v1.0/links/rewrite_click/?rewrite_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJyZXdyaXRlX2lkIjoiNjAyNTRhODdkNjI1NTU4Zjc2MWQ4ODljIiwidXJsIjoiIiwib3JnYW5pemF0aW9uX2lkIjo0NzAwfQ.XFVYDIkiavw_LJ4O7XnyDK-3DVQBv2wGc9FrfufPneU&amp;url=http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t%3D3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2%26_m%3D3689a0bc6d554bdda168a419a86d26b0%26_e%3DmUt_xpK9wtUmO4_kuvodbL959q9St3pTAyYEoj_E6ny9X9eRfVVTjLuz3cjvmMFltsv9NavCboI6IQVAQsJEduS8ziXkrSyeYbJQ2YSrMNmTgEdQ7PlfZVB1OB-HWzRrTtgpiz1meH_fNID3GvgkSOnIMPKSPUaxtylh4WTHtmWZK3GGWGmkUB9k0Ene3nO3NH9Q5j3g3ZkgoY3i3Yffm5M64BC8h6QXYdvT10GJGjihg9CTcuEfWkNl7b7BGUopsNGmh2HnNJloaWDOITuIenf_JhnU2NPpLekkfy7KFel_ipFelnaz9_s2JQ9bRE7auyxfppt9F3cZtAykunupu0teueHcF7tmcLusO__5ozM%253D">stressed </a>the impact declining occupancy has had on finances. In a committee hearing before the Florida State Senate, Reed said, “If we don’t start to see occupancy increase over the next six or seven months, maybe even less, you’re going to start seeing nursing homes in a very dire situation financially. It’s just, the margins are razor-thin.” <br> <br> With increased costs of care and a decline in residents, many facilities will no longer be able to afford to run their facilities, leaving thousands of elderly individuals displaced and forced to find new care.</p><p>Pandemic-related closures continue to occur across the country. Long term care providers in <a href="https&#58;//app.bitdam.com/api/v1.0/links/rewrite_click/?rewrite_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJyZXdyaXRlX2lkIjoiNjAyNTRhODc0NTczYmIxMGQxYzQ4ODg1IiwidXJsIjoiIiwib3JnYW5pemF0aW9uX2lkIjo0NzAwfQ.rk3rPMjg68-Lfhsr3Zi2AKhrwThJNPAFDAPX9ZODeJ4&amp;url=http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t%3D3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2%26_m%3D3689a0bc6d554bdda168a419a86d26b0%26_e%3DmUt_xpK9wtUmO4_kuvodbCu4eIyCVmZoG24t9MvyvdhuTkZxoKeXMesNochszvX5uIknJ5nCY2-KI6pGrMt6ZBj2a1vhTHm-iETKR4lWj_jM2-fL5ttMQrjbpoTXcQ4VnE5Wc_gU0TzSlUewjHEGFNp5EnWGzoGoBzg-gQ5_6xtMHooGd2zyC-0SUCAPizZ1buDpnfzq0SIHerVmDDKXjKoiUsythKAbL6EQhIHqbHSoQreBzXAMscRWPqPNMYa9sr6BU4crhQqXYzt91mVybMDJkIESaTplCp643awMmeCYvf6wYcu96IzoMioMsoe7a1HCB6mBt4_UkuEWNyBUQSd5Yl_GIUO1eWjqxr8URoo9shbVaAa-_yGYhD8njUQN">California </a>, <a href="https&#58;//app.bitdam.com/api/v1.0/links/rewrite_click/?rewrite_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJyZXdyaXRlX2lkIjoiNjAyNTRhODdiMDU0NzhmMzFkY2Q2ZDcwIiwidXJsIjoiIiwib3JnYW5pemF0aW9uX2lkIjo0NzAwfQ.MK5HQRIFADmDkvjQDkkn4SVnKeninPgV-0DRGE8jSrs&amp;url=http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t%3D3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2%26_m%3D3689a0bc6d554bdda168a419a86d26b0%26_e%3DmUt_xpK9wtUmO4_kuvodbLRA0DrKE3q1hCG2MW0_wdOONBkaNPwjGi5kliwbnAb0EZavCXvNH1XXyGHqwiiUW0K6G-vIL1MTLVOxMe12diSXPdb5rCM2fP5dDUZb_E5fu9Ml2c2vadEutCZty-vszE-dXwkSGwx9rp3j4yxVf2oV4VEpA46yc0pnVQLkWauUUPTKG7gULdcS82YO3eijjLIBmyOPLOv4u3ih-8YHD6vyyKAOmn2vaXnJ5S20Q6GpG3YHCk8EVSDDVrjRkZ1Hx_aC0pUETmdreEaWrcEFCTjY7h4xsbX2paSiLxCNuHpSFIyUcp1UZvb1Abs1NHZSp6xjQ1zt2Iqef2vuSeMQJ6E%253D">Indiana </a>, <a href="https&#58;//app.bitdam.com/api/v1.0/links/rewrite_click/?rewrite_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJyZXdyaXRlX2lkIjoiNjAyNTRhODc0NTczYmIxMGQxYzQ4ODg0IiwidXJsIjoiIiwib3JnYW5pemF0aW9uX2lkIjo0NzAwfQ.4gNBhsrJPOiFRAHW5VcJJg1MkHr-aajmnjmJrBXjBNw&amp;url=http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t%3D3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2%26_m%3D3689a0bc6d554bdda168a419a86d26b0%26_e%3DmUt_xpK9wtUmO4_kuvodbDohNlT2KR207AO2jiDzoAxl_IvVkowecKKDDH2pOnSA6cy-wJhuN10ZEDyuGuD4oNt75UUHU3MGYSzRxR55iqEhnoMbZQDw8aJOiUCUI-gYcaXVwSm3jKTkXTAdPIO6Lb4Ml6OLnp3DRfbwbbVke-_MajQdN2MBQAVhYUc88SJES2XnFZeSSaVNLFWA_f1I7YnabwtPI3wCRp3J1c194YMXvc7_xl_18Jn0TI3ttPVwvvr21H9POo0JGOeNTJEpnl3_BujOVGnwLLl7Es3FVxMqdnBPqiQ_oDKuSn6FSj_ATiYFzJdWcJpFpgtDA27Oz1fnWCGgHD5pI3W6JwPKHBZ4e3RXBWwufd-yqEENFC1mDLr3CFpNqX_U-BV2TiuGlbtGbaHR2Eu3Y4kCo0iGdiA%253D" target="_blank">Connecticut </a>, <a href="https&#58;//app.bitdam.com/api/v1.0/links/rewrite_click/?rewrite_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJyZXdyaXRlX2lkIjoiNjAyNTRhODdmOGZmMjk4OTM2NmY0OWY2IiwidXJsIjoiIiwib3JnYW5pemF0aW9uX2lkIjo0NzAwfQ.N5bc__9vGJrjomTz47gigm7yJit4I5btloSUYkyXPv0&amp;url=http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t%3D3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2%26_m%3D3689a0bc6d554bdda168a419a86d26b0%26_e%3DmUt_xpK9wtUmO4_kuvodbM1CqnWiGziqWyaqcJ6vtp4snodmm4kjfKVAwvfmmvN-0bpKc8ricENXup8pAzpHsZ_TB_8xZsCiI5sIZVabUQQJi_ixRXfMrxybyQ8R5TZr758aG229X-wnpZJtNtIF7rQ8NfBOVoLIPHAdbBSg1yEN7zthnu_J1oOI9O8EsHIhPTSAs63s3Bc5U3yIsdLw-gwRVfyGn6nIcct6W7Lo7dvIDQcR-tmmLZd0FMfi3Ii9lg0d3LQQ0ux-mfzaHf6l0OPUObwwiI49gOw0LLLMcGHjm_rOVwA-91cMorXH6udHAihS61OokgrIresQPFUCYOHvEsVQKnqpU4-kj5zTBu7y7hDS1fWoF1kl0w25OfRB1cpy1fKegXxKEdeKKQs5JlBGl3DysXHSnpcoRjC1C1k%253D">Massachusetts </a>, <a href="https&#58;//app.bitdam.com/api/v1.0/links/rewrite_click/?rewrite_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJyZXdyaXRlX2lkIjoiNjAyNTRhODdmOGZmMjk4OTM2NmY0OWY3IiwidXJsIjoiIiwib3JnYW5pemF0aW9uX2lkIjo0NzAwfQ.TBuxC7ifCis6MwR7-NldkPjTxa--lkeVk_IW2Cczsy0&amp;url=http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t%3D3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2%26_m%3D3689a0bc6d554bdda168a419a86d26b0%26_e%3DmUt_xpK9wtUmO4_kuvodbEpvOc5lXtXA0NA9tlahKb9r_bkhwrxrkPVL55oKbIi0Ndw1l15abcTr-rZkGUOWSgwpoIqj_QsodUFRJcgyvz5hhNn8FUdQCXLCxujWbu2tlBrv-NnA8jqlrxgL65QAYDBlEhrd0Y3Pi1-a8XLf37B0CBY3Ur4raVKTVpgmJDK_LSAhajyHhLfWZOHs-RjqLE7Hb4k9Pag8gZ-ADtFdy-8FvFlq-a_ATrxp3BPIiAZ3j61Xna2ZXVhjbR5GQzXX8axcsUilgrFP095GtHVUI9TAVU_xVlv2lsyAUpKJnovdP_ES0dgn1YPaZwmtUh9a8w%253D%253D">Colorado </a>, <a href="https&#58;//app.bitdam.com/api/v1.0/links/rewrite_click/?rewrite_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJyZXdyaXRlX2lkIjoiNjAyNTRhODdkNjI1NTU4Zjc2MWQ4ODllIiwidXJsIjoiIiwib3JnYW5pemF0aW9uX2lkIjo0NzAwfQ.2hIR998xQyGIxLja7SwpQd6VqskkJHgD33LdKPMhnOo&amp;url=http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t%3D3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2%26_m%3D3689a0bc6d554bdda168a419a86d26b0%26_e%3DmUt_xpK9wtUmO4_kuvodbCGXM9yR_zR_8fsRvsuYrqheqEvTPOtjBQhiWlxYerRJKM5CeVeqXJetyBkX4ezaFYL1lxpo44pvyQYt-GdcaiS4VbJdYo7SDTKZ1E0VFEgZl-H5OVGsN_D9nUNrJSH7b-bQagWIIm2W10Ci1k-CwGsDsIt6Y-NdQGKulTnZOEc5Dd2zdf1MLWLI--lsnF-rW-5U-yLWqAADqKFkKY7-53ORQBAwOFMwfp_R1ukWmG8ofn3K5GaVNCvHKk71dYMUYboLQtI1p8nBaAF3ofFNpZgAMHG_01qywAD-3LDwCt-YT5mKYxFUwsvW-X7w99P2Y5_XNn48_5-wUS9qqjPwT_BVlg7N-sJIQjKrEFcFqbE79URDyBgZCmG7rHqsK7NyyCqzW5AW_LJLOCLZd0T7e7s%253D">Kansas </a>, <a href="https&#58;//app.bitdam.com/api/v1.0/links/rewrite_click/?rewrite_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJyZXdyaXRlX2lkIjoiNjAyNTRhODdmOGZmMjk4OTM2NmY0OWY1IiwidXJsIjoiIiwib3JnYW5pemF0aW9uX2lkIjo0NzAwfQ.5qZsqBehtUJ2NVbUtJ-RxXrfnWXHdWq1gYX13kKdNDQ&amp;url=http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t%3D3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2%26_m%3D3689a0bc6d554bdda168a419a86d26b0%26_e%3DmUt_xpK9wtUmO4_kuvodbDZL7ldp2V-LzCk6FrfiL05a2mm68QdJMdMYJ3Qx4UL_kLgJrkF7kqVccfB-DMi_X09dlum8KmwNLY7qQ2EVWk3Get9ahH5qJzTDNBCU6Rycnrxqn0RB8D17UBv1iCOpVCVroc5nTruqn5q-dVnJp049pqaqmvvnDnKLmsiTIjQfWHuJCov7fDzAtcUYlJgzlIXCFcSNpJcDK3E9ZfQ-4y9f8fQ1ig-_JydN3sYQtjD4K0kNcMBhgRIA40YXLDRKI0hnQykiklqGqt9Qi_QerNuVLV9zizAGIYBb_GYRRe09oWQXLthCNo15WgMeXyls1yR-p--jSfm7aluskyO_S0dUURyD6OhuxlQVpxPCF5o_PN1By1xKU71KVCXO7ip_d4oDfpPRkbul1HCZoFycn80%253D">Michigan </a>, <a href="https&#58;//app.bitdam.com/api/v1.0/links/rewrite_click/?rewrite_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJyZXdyaXRlX2lkIjoiNjAyNTRhODczNzlmYzA3NTYyMjEzNWFjIiwidXJsIjoiIiwib3JnYW5pemF0aW9uX2lkIjo0NzAwfQ.TPMzWoYjzl0wDz8G9j1j9SEl5ga52Rh31ONbG5tpSAI&amp;url=http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t%3D3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2%26_m%3D3689a0bc6d554bdda168a419a86d26b0%26_e%3DmUt_xpK9wtUmO4_kuvodbOuhACDz2JxFdrwnzYq0xQ9YqFOlWHpwT-20wF8bOo00fwrY9uGcJiA5xuEl9kqIqcS5f-u_DSRvmmJxiEl-_EB42HNCtgKVTjrDib2H08kU2oV0NdDvyPTo8MyoXPAq0-6F2U5W7tDIi_MvwVDzeg_I9aP_cyuR3tXMu5Dce9bvCBxJGyqlDlhnTfJlal6LTWu44AXJCBscvxGWfI1oMbdDA7DfI51GTeH0RxBINPhwqKe50dtHIU5ZOSmR2YuiRc3l1511cKx9Yif0Vlxa5y5eI-xGAB5SoIT38z-Z_PINJZgHRISgDnCDEA7zwUbfWUZhKjk8QGkRwoahlrnJt7xnLBC8T5tFUpK6hzNQCxW_ur-mZaKn6vG0kXE_hiOiro4_VXQq3svpe80aRbyTLDollj1LQ6hbTIKYAixBLsk0iEY6OM99manFrvvFRcgXtg%253D%253D">Nebraska </a>, <a href="https&#58;//app.bitdam.com/api/v1.0/links/rewrite_click/?rewrite_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJyZXdyaXRlX2lkIjoiNjAyNTRhODdkNjI1NTU4Zjc2MWQ4ODlmIiwidXJsIjoiIiwib3JnYW5pemF0aW9uX2lkIjo0NzAwfQ.5Mtn17DMxLEheFeC7WyyFTdrHs94NX20DKFvA08shn4&amp;url=http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t%3D3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2%26_m%3D3689a0bc6d554bdda168a419a86d26b0%26_e%3DmUt_xpK9wtUmO4_kuvodbJtQC_t8mAQWdEGjkaJ_88usqTchPBFatF1nuarpnzfdDxxJ0mX0Wq4OJE7zwgZGq_yvLn7yg4wtDR1zWzfxE9Gx-ATBsUfJlejw-5J5vJ3BsDOGxs8qJ_i07wfkNY5qleD0NU98l2QlItYGcZvrk_HVC5asnA51SKFVBzd75c7cVK4TU5Uw7HTcIVUCNC3jZPxD0Yi12d6F90t9Pr94BXCwHXUMyjtjUfDewICtzIf6cvi2Ab8w4MGFRKixeJ9QNHdZut0TXxAJ09CIRElY_65NFfXE44mabJIFnFSvl3qGCPgXh6nSqfwq7U6CWOWeItT5Xq1as7BCCQPmO1AXcx9ZPoLSubuoD9BZa_xJz2zSVcWWNHEH-xTKEzpqoyCpnENV2oWtjbCsJAVNY5l7EjPvfP0ZlZEcW2-lRFWgm-hZ">New Hampshire </a>, <a href="https&#58;//app.bitdam.com/api/v1.0/links/rewrite_click/?rewrite_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJyZXdyaXRlX2lkIjoiNjAyNTRhODdiMDU0NzhmMzFkY2Q2ZDcxIiwidXJsIjoiIiwib3JnYW5pemF0aW9uX2lkIjo0NzAwfQ.IpcwSp1b7kBWR_zFQSN0va0ciTiERRLUTnYI9D2w6_w&amp;url=http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t%3D3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2%26_m%3D3689a0bc6d554bdda168a419a86d26b0%26_e%3DmUt_xpK9wtUmO4_kuvodbPIbXys9YcPfwaasQCM_6gFh50jryoE3ES0y3OQ8cb55012R4-Q2czd0oXnKK6zakj3d3XKgmreuAdSyuf2onr2czx7r1vpSU3-NWKU3h-JMtCItG6xsv5JZLexTTHGfCHtEPO5M-9ZKXnBLAy5hTSximeAQyoppaZwZT5tDhiFYbl_J9V0rMKYMe8Qm7M5eXwUtvxsKCZP0RpxBM1CYWQM7PBml3fDT3yrtObEwIsn6N7HBimwFqQSQ8ubCCjx09TeJlv_Fwj5GWfA9712WcradXCoYygO-66EeKvONEfxmH_jcFe9Y3IwzB6WhxDzvrcUKJWwbVk96AD7hbuAw6JSGXAliEp8yv7hTm7tfmeAvA0er9Zt4D0l1Y9cy2Qx6uTJQYneB95KKoFO-hDDnU7E%253D">New York, </a>and <a href="https&#58;//app.bitdam.com/api/v1.0/links/rewrite_click/?rewrite_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJyZXdyaXRlX2lkIjoiNjAyNTRhODczNzlmYzA3NTYyMjEzNWFhIiwidXJsIjoiIiwib3JnYW5pemF0aW9uX2lkIjo0NzAwfQ.UPEhHi7u9la9VLLtRMqP8IecRkGC0ViB0H6DqUB8fH0&amp;url=http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t%3D3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2%26_m%3D3689a0bc6d554bdda168a419a86d26b0%26_e%3DmUt_xpK9wtUmO4_kuvodbCUcBOk2jUomgnDHY8Guoz7IfBed9LpvtWAiDPPLf6F9ghR7c1_pWihKFR1lZ1GBMbNKaYW4OXyXkxOdVOvNfcj-zznQCNbn_bRc-Iu7cGUIxv7qHGD_3pDTFxX9bt8ajtSQ_R7xVsO5T9GjuhZenoPP8mBcibbVOdmVzyP9FUQ86nntXNtqDRA0yXVTGNtFKK4jT-0HawgPR94_bx_zrBYjAWFZz811zT4wUzvzGlNWrLBQyfEjS87E88wgJQen9dyKB6yxLzn04ozHwpOp2YgM7TlVDzWtMHb1yEEXzg_baeKSsZ8DFb9bE0NzFjHzSsVKmGvPQtSHqMfKarI8q82mA7XrgMmTz9d2FqzR8hxe">Rhode Island </a>have made the difficult decision to permanently close their doors, the report said. <br> <br> To address the urgent financial straits providers are in, AHCA/NCAL is urging Congress to prioritize long term care residents and staff by allocating $20 billion in funding, either through an enhanced Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage for long-term services and support, or through a dedicated portion to the Provider Relief Fund.</p><p>“This financial support will bring much-needed relief and enable providers to continue to protect residents and staff. America’s most vulnerable population and their dedicated caregivers cannot fight this fight alone,” the association said. </p> 2021-02-11T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/healthcare_finance.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Finance;CaregivingPatrick Connole​AHCA/NCAL is calling for $20 billion in much-needed relief for financially stressed long term care providers.
COVID-19 Cases Decline in Nursing Homes After Vaccine Rollout<p>Vaccinations of long term care residents in U.S. nursing homes appears to be putting a sizable dent in the number of new COVID-19 infections among this most vulnerable population, according to a new blog post by Omar Zahraoui, a data analyst at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing &amp; Care (NIC).</p><p>While nursing homes have disproportionately suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, over the past year the rate of new COVID-19 cases among residents moved nearly in tandem with the rate of new cases within the nation as a whole, he said. However, with the distribution and administration of vaccines aimed at these residents taking hold, the infection rates have declined sharply in nursing centers, much more than the general population.</p><p>“Within a few weeks of the launch of the Long Term Care (LTC) vaccination program administered through the Pharmacy Partnership Program, with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Dec. 21, 2020, and the Moderna vaccine on Dec. 28, new COVID-19 cases within skilled nursing properties have been sharply lower than the U.S. overall new cases at any previous point,” Zahraoui said.<br>&#160;<br>Various reports show that residents overwhelming opt in to receiving vaccinations, whereas during a similar time less than 10 percent of the U.S. population had received at least one vaccine shot. These initial results are promising and provide another potential data point on the effectiveness of vaccinations in preventing new COVID-19 cases, he said.</p><p>At the beginning of February, more than 30 million people had been inoculated in the United States, and the vaccines appear to be safe and effective. “According to the latest <a href="https&#58;//blog.nic.org/executive-survey-insights-wave-20">NIC Executive Survey Insights (Wave 20), </a>which collected survey results from Jan. 11 to 24, “two-thirds of residents (66 percent) and nearly one-half of staff (47 percent) have had their first dose,” Zahraoui said.</p><p>“Increasingly, there is support for the idea that as the number of people who are vaccinated increases, the number of hospitalizations should potentially decrease, as was indicated in a study of trends in Israel and its high vaccination rates,” he said.</p><p>Note, the vaccination rates reported by the federal government in its Jan. 17 <a href="https&#58;//www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7005e2.htm?s_cid=mm7005e2_w">Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report </a>show a median of 77.8 percent of residents receiving the vaccination and 37.5 percent of staff members.</p><p>Zahraoui said that since the Centers for Medicare &amp; Medicaid Services (CMS) began reporting data in late May, newly confirmed cases within skilled nursing properties have followed the same pattern as the U.S. overall new cases, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).</p><p>For the week ending Dec. 20, both overall new cases in the United States and within skilled nursing properties reached new peaks before slipping back in late December. “In fact, U.S. new virus cases reached a seven-day moving average of about 220,000 on Dec. 20, while the per-resident rate of new COVID-19 infections set a record at 3.03 percent at the same time, according to data compiled by NIC,” Zahraoui said.</p><p>However, in recent weeks there has been a noticeable divergence in these trends as the vaccines are distributed in nursing homes. NIC’s <a href="https&#58;//www.nic.org/snf-covid-tracker">Skilled Nursing COVID Tracker </a>featuring the latest CMS data update as of Jan. 24 shows that case counts of COVID-19 and fatalities at skilled nursing properties have started to decline.</p><p>He said although new cases in the United States (seven-day moving average) reached levels higher than the prior December peaks by Jan. 10 (244,702), newly confirmed cases within skilled nursing properties continued falling steadily and remained far below the previous peak seen on Dec. 20, with a 1 percentage point decline recorded over four weeks, from 3.03 percent on Dec. 20 to 1.96 percent on Jan. 17.</p><p>Similarly, new coronavirus fatalities among skilled nursing residents have flattened and slightly decreased from Dec. 20 levels, while U.S new fatalities (seven-day moving average) continued to climb at a faster pace. For the week ending Dec. 20, fatalities in nursing homes accounted for approximately 31 percent of overall new fatalities in the United States. By Jan. 17, the skilled nursing new fatalities as a share of total fatalities in the United States dropped to 21 percent.</p><p>“The decrease in new cases and fatalities in skilled nursing properties relative to trends in the total United States is encouraging, particularly given the timing relative to widespread distribution of the vaccine to long term care properties,” said NIC President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Jurutka.</p><p>NIC has been publishing a regularly updated <a href="https&#58;//www.nic.org/snf-covid-tracker">weekly surveillance report </a>since June 2020 on the incidence of COVID-19 cases and fatalities among residents in the nation’s nursing care properties.</p><p>For more reading on the effects of COVID-19 in skilled nursing properties, see the following report&#58;<br><a href="http&#58;//www.nic.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/SNCT-Insights-Report-Special-Issue.pdf">www.nic.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/SNCT-Insights-Report-Special-Issue.pdf</a>.<br></p>2021-02-11T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/1220_news1.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />COVID-19;ManagementPatrick ConnoleNursing center infection rates dropping much more quickly than those in the general population.