AHCA/NCAL Press Release
Long term care leaders address state orders on hospital admissions to nursing homes
Yesterday, the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) released a
addressing state orders directing nursing homes to accept all hospital patients.
Multiple states are considering adopting an order similar to what was issued in New York that requires every nursing home to admit hospital patients who have not been tested for COVID-19 and to admit patients who have tested positive. The AHCA/NCAL statement explains that while the intent of these orders is understandable, this approach will introduce the highly contagious virus into more nursing homes.
Recent data from the CDC shows that just over half of all elderly people who tested positive for COVID-19 showed no symptoms, which supports a ‘test before discharge’ approach in hospitals. However, testing shortages and delays make testing patients before discharging unworkable.
The solution is for hospital patients to be discharged to nursing homes that can create segregated COVID-19 units and have the vital personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to keep the staff safe.
There are examples all over the country that show that well-equipped and well-staffed nursing homes can contain the virus. Strategically sending patients to the appropriate nursing homes, as opposed to forcing them into every nursing home, will save lives and reduce the burden on hospitals.
Along with AHCA/NCAL, we continue to work with the Governor, public health officials, and hospitals to identify nursing homes that have the capability to handle these transitions and provide this care. We will also continue to fight to get PPE into all nursing homes; to waive existing regulations getting in the way of training more staff and moving residents; and to support efforts to hire and retain additional staff.