This morning, the American Health Care Association announced their new reform agenda, the Care for Our Seniors Act, in partnership with LeadingAge. Check out excerpts from their statement below, or click here for their full announcement.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated systemic issues impacting the nursing home sector, such as workforce shortages, aging physical plants, and underfunded government reimbursements for care. Many of these issues were raised by AHCA, LeadingAge and other stakeholders for years prior to COVID but were never fully addressed by policymakers. Through the Care For Our Seniors Act, AHCA and LeadingAge are calling on lawmakers once again to help resolve systemic challenges, as well as reflecting on ways nursing home providers themselves can improve.
The Care For Our Seniors Act has four main reform principles with policy proposals in each of the key areas:
- Clinical: Enhance the quality of care in nursing homes by developing clearer standards for infection preventionists, requiring that each nursing home have a registered nurse on-staff, 24 hours per day, and requiring a minimum 30-day supply of personal protective equipment in all nursing homes.
- Workforce: Strengthen and support our frontline caregivers by implementing a multi-phase tiered approach to attract, retain and develop more long term care professionals leveraging federal, state and academic institutions.
- Oversight: Implement improvements establishing a more resident-driven system by developing an effective oversight system and processes that support better care and protect residents. This would include implementing a process to help turn around or close facilities that are chronic poor performers and adding customer satisfaction to the government’s five-star rating system to help monitor the quality of a facility for family members and guide consumer choice.
- Structural: Modernize nursing homes by conducting a national study on how to shift to more private rooms, which promote resident privacy, autonomy and dignity, as well as support infection control best practices.
“With a growing elderly population soon needing our services, the moment is now. We must pay tribute to all those who lost their lives to this vicious virus and resolve to bring forth a brighter future,” concluded Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA. “We have already seen what progress can be made when policymakers come together to make long term care residents a priority and through these reforms, we can significantly improve the quality of care for our current residents and generations to come.”
To learn more about the Care For Our Seniors Act, please visit www.ahcancal.org/solutions.”