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AHCA, NCAL Applaud CDC, FDA for Approving Booster Shots for Long Term Care Residents, Workers<p>The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) released the following statement in response to the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve booster shots of the Moderna and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) COVID-19 vaccines for certain individuals, including residents and health care workers in long term care.</p><p>The following statement is attributable to David Gifford, MD, chief medical officer of AHCA/NCAL&#58;</p><p>“Once again, we appreciate the FDA and CDC for thoroughly examining the data and following the science to help protect Americans, including our nation’s most vulnerable, from COVID-19. All long term care residents and staff members will now be eligible to receive a booster shot thanks to these expanded recommendations.</p><p>“Additionally, the ability to mix-and-match vaccines for the booster dose will make it easier for long term care facilities to swiftly access these vaccines for their residents and staff. </p><p>“The rollout of the Pfizer booster shot has gone incredibly well in long term care, and we are confident that adding Moderna and Johnson and Johnson into the mix will catapult our efforts. We appreciate the partnership of federal and state governments, as well as long term care pharmacies and other vaccine providers, to make these vaccination efforts in nursing homes and assisted living communities efficient and successful.”<br></p>2021-10-22T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/0220_News1.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />COVID-19Joanne EricksonApproving additional vaccines for the booster dose will make it easier for facilities to gain access to shots for their residents and staff.
AHCA, NCAL Send Letter to Federal Trade Commission on Staff Agency Price Gouging<p>​The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) sent a letter this week to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Lina Khan, requesting assistance with an anticompetitive practice with direct care staffing agencies.<br><br>In the letter, AHCA/NCAL President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Parkinson describes how the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred an unprecedented workforce crisis within the long term care sector.<br></p><p>According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing homes and residential-care facilities employed 3 million people in July, down 380,000 workers from February 2020. Providers are doing all that they can to hire and recruit workers, including sign-on bonuses, wage increases, and referral bonuses.<br><br>Amid these circumstances, direct care staffing agencies are charging exorbitant prices to long term care facilities that need workers. AHCA/NCAL state affiliates are undertaking legislative efforts to prevent these agencies from charging more than double and—in some cases—as much as quadruple the amount operators are currently paying their staff.<br></p><p>AHCA/NCAL requests that the FTC use its authority to investigate this price gouging and take appropriate action to protect long term care facilities.<br><br>Read the full letter <a href="/Breaking-News/Documents/AHCA_NCAL%20FTC%20Staff%20Agency%20Letter%2010.19.21.pdf">here</a>.<br></p>2021-10-21T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/letter_writing.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />WorkforceJoanne EricksonAgencies taking advantage of worker shortages by greatly overcharging facilities that need them.
Staffing Challenges in Long Term Care Facilities Continue to Threaten Resident Access to Care <p>The COVID-19 pandemic has put a tremendous strain on nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country, but one area that continues to worsen among facilities is the workforce crisis. Long term care facilities are experiencing growing staff vacancies as burned-out caregivers exit the profession.</p><p>A recent American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) <a href="https&#58;//www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/Survey-Nearly-Every-U-S--Nursing-Home-And-Assisted-Living-Community-Is-Facing-A-Workforce-Crisis.aspx">survey </a>found that 86 percent of nursing homes and 77 percent of assisted living providers say their workforce situation has gotten worse in just a few months.</p><p>Providers want to offer higher wages and better benefits to attract and retain employees but lack the necessary funds to do so. For years nursing homes have faced low Medicaid reimbursement rates that do not adequately cover the cost of care. These low rates, coupled with additional expenses from the pandemic, have left many facilities in financial turmoil. And now as staff challenges grow, providers are left without the means to hire new workers or keep their current ones.</p><p>Washington Newsday recently <a href="https&#58;//washingtonnewsday.com/news/according-to-us-data-nursing-homes-lost-almost-380k-jobs-during-the-pandemic/">reported </a>the dire labor shortages in long term care. According to data from the Bureau of Labor, nursing homes and residential care facilities have lost <a href="https&#58;//data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES6562300001?amp%253bdata_tool=XGtable&amp;output_view=data&amp;include_graphs=true">more than 425,000 employees </a>during the course of the pandemic.</p><p>Fewer caregivers are forcing many facilities to have to turn away new residents. The AHCA/NCAL survey also found that 58 percent of nursing homes have had to limit new admissions because of a lack of employees. A recent story in <a href="https&#58;//www.marketwatch.com/story/nursing-home-occupancy-dropped-significantly-in-the-wake-of-covid-19-11633551854">MarketWatch </a>highlighted the significant drop in nursing home occupancy during the pandemic. In just the span of a year, occupancy rates fell from 85 percent to 68 percent. Now, nursing homes are struggling to recover due, in part, to staffing shortages, as occupancy rates have only increased to 72 percent.</p><p>These alarming drops in employment signify the urgent need for Congress to step in. Lawmakers can address chronic staffing challenges through the reconciliation package currently in discussion. In addition, the <a href="https&#58;//www.ahcancal.org/Advocacy/Pages/Care-For-Our-Seniors-Act.aspx">Care for Our Seniors Act,</a> a comprehensive reform proposal developed by AHCA and LeadingAge, offers solutions such as assistance programs for caregivers through tax credits, loan forgiveness, and child care, as well as incentives for higher learning institutions to train the next generation of health care workers. </p><p>Long term care residents require around-the-clock clinical assistance. When they cannot access the nursing home or assisted living community they want due to staffing shortages, they are left scrambling to look for alternative options, often in facilities farther away from their families and community of choice. Lawmakers must recognize the severity of the workforce shortage and work together to invest in these necessary caregivers so no resident is left without the care they need. <br></p>2021-10-18T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/0120_News1.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />WorkforceJoanne EricksonGrowing employee vacancies exacerbate workforce crisis as staff exit the profession.
AHCA, NCAL Elect Boards and Directors at Annual Convention<p>The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) have elected AHCA’s Board of Governors and NCAL’s Board of Directors for the 2021/2022 term. Phil Fogg of Oregon was elected AHCA Chair, and Gerald Hamilton of New Mexico was elected NCAL Chair. </p><p>“We are thrilled to have Phil and Gerald as the chairs of our Boards,” said AHCA/NCAL President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Parkinson. “They are incredible, influential leaders dedicated to seeing the industry through this challenging time, so we come out stronger, as well as providing the highest quality of care to our residents. I am confident they will do an amazing job leading our sector this next year.”</p><p>Fogg is the president and CEO of Marquis Companies in Milwaukie, Ore. As the fourth generation of a family of long term care providers, it was inevitable that Fogg would devote his life to serving seniors. His great-grandmother was one of Oregon’s pioneers in the profession, and by the age of 13, he was already working in his father’s facilities—doing laundry, washing dishes, making beds, or whatever else was needed. He previously served as Vice Chair on AHCA’s Board of Governors. </p><p>The remaining members of AHCA’s 2021-2022 board include&#58;</p><p>•&#160;Phil Scalo of Bartley Healthcare (N.J.), Vice Chair<br>•&#160;Chris Wright of iCare Health Network (Conn.), Secretary/Treasurer <br>•&#160;Debbie Meade of Health Management (Ga.), Immediate Past Chair<br>•&#160;Derek Prince of HMG Healthcare (Texas), At-large Representative <br>•&#160;Sarah Schumann of Brookside Inn (Colo.), At-large Representative <br>•&#160;Tina Sandri of Forest Hills (D.C.), At-large Representative<br>•&#160;Reginald Hartsfield of Advantage Living Centers (Mich.), At-large Representative<br>•&#160;Julianne Williams of Elevate Health Care (Calif.), At-large Representative <br>•&#160;Alex Terentev of Lilac Health Group (Fla.), At-large Representative<br>•&#160;Steve Flatt of National Healthcare Corp. (Tenn.), Multifacility Representative&#160; <br>•&#160;Randy Bury of The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society (S.D.), Not-for-profit Representative<br>•&#160;Mark Traylor of Traylor Porter Healthcare (Ala.), Independent Owner Representative <br>•&#160;Ted LeNeave of Accura Healthcare (Iowa), Regional Multifacility Representative<br>•&#160;Gerald Hamilton of BeeHive Homes of Albuquerque (N.M.), NCAL Representative<br>•&#160;Jesse Samples of the Tennessee Health Care Association, ASHCAE Representative<br>•&#160;Betsy Rust of Plante Moran, Associate Business Member Representative</p><p>NCAL also elected its Board of Directors today, including Hamilton as its new chair. He is the co-owner of BeeHive Homes and has 35 years of experience in health care management as an assisted living facility owner/operator, licensed nursing home administrator, regional manager of multiple nursing homes, and consultant. After a successful career in nursing home administration in California, New Mexico, and Colorado, he started his own business to construct and operate assisted living communities.&#160; </p><p>The remaining members of NCAL’s Board of Directors include&#58;</p><p>•&#160;Mark Maxfield of The Cottages (Idaho), Vice Chair<br>•&#160;Sarah Silva of Avamere Health Services (Ore.), Secretary/Treasurer<br>•&#160;Helen Crunk of Pemberly Place (Neb.), Immediate Past Chair,<br>•&#160;John Bolduc of Odd Fellows’ and Rebekahs’ Home of Maine (Maine), At-large Representative<br>•&#160;Rod Burkett of Gardant Management Solutions (Ill.), At-large Representative<br>•&#160;Megan Campbell of IntegraCare Corp. (Pa.), At-large Representative<br>•&#160;Sue Coppola of Sunrise Senior Living (Va.), At-large Representative<br>•&#160;Ana de la Cerda of Aegis Living (Wash.), At-large Representative<br>•&#160;Todd Dockerty of Dockerty Health Care Services (Mich.), At-large Representative<br>•&#160;Darryl Fisher of Mission Senior Living (Nev.), At-large Representative<br>•&#160;Stacy Hejda of Assisted Living Partners (Iowa), At-large Representative&#160; <br>•&#160;Esmerelda Lee of Century Park Associates (Tenn.), At-large Representative<br>•&#160;Barbara Mitchell of Magnolia Manor (Ga.), At-large Representative<br>•&#160;Gail Sheridan of Lifespark, formerly Tealwood Senior Living (Minn.), At-large Representative<br>•&#160;Elizabeth Wheatley of Benchmark Senior Living (Mass.), At-large Representative<br>•&#160;Kristopher Woolley of Avista Senior Living (Ariz.), At-large Representative<br>•&#160;Phil Scalo of Bartley Healthcare (N.J.), AHCA Vice Chair<br>•&#160;Phil Fogg of Marquis Companies (Ore.), AHCA Chair<br>•&#160;Peter Corless of OnShift, Associate Business Member Representative <br>•&#160;Doug Farmer of Colorado Health Care Association, State Affiliate Representative<br>•&#160;David Voepel of Arizona Health Care Association, ASHCAE Vice President </p><p>“We are incredibly fortunate for this year’s Board members, and their time and contribution to assisted living,” said NCAL Executive Director LaShuan Bethea. “Now more than ever, we need their leadership to guide us during these challenging years ahead, and looking at this group of individuals I am truly excited about all they will accomplish for our profession.”</p><p>Members of the AHCA Board of Governors are elected by the association’s governing body, the Council of States. The NCAL Board of Directors is elected by current members of the NCAL Board and by the NCAL State Leaders. Both boards hold annual elections at the AHCA/NCAL Convention &amp; Expo.<br></p>2021-10-13T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/PhilFogg.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />ManagementJoanne EricksonAssociations elect annual Board line-ups during final hours of AHCA/NCAL 72nd Convention & Expo.