Additional Bailout for Nursing Home Industry
Nursing homes account for a large share of U.S. deaths from COVID-19. Nursing homes were not prepared for the Trump Virus. Poor training on infection control, and inadequate and unsafe staffing caused 60,000 fatalities among nursing home residents and staff. Nursing home residents account for only about 1% of the U.S. population but 40% of the 150,000 U.S. deaths.
Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may be unable to meet the demands of the nursing home industry. Long-term care providers will get an additional industry bailout in the fourth bailout. Money going to the Department of Health and Human Services includes only $25 billion for the HHS Provider Relief Fund.
The Fund will have $200 billion. The Fund needs $400 billion to protect all health care workers. The industry’s well paid lobbyists including the American Health Care Association demanded $100 billion just for nursing homes. AHCA noted that nursing homes received only about 4.3% of the $175 billion allocated for the fund.
“Without adequate funding and resources, the U.S. will end up repeating the same mistakes from several months ago,” Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association, said last week. “We need Congress to prioritize nursing homes and assisted living communities in this upcoming legislation.”
President Trump disclosed that the federal government will be giving nursing home providers $5 billion to fight the coronavirus. That comes on top of $4.9 billion given to nursing homes in May. This funding should fix critical problems in nursing homes including hiring additional staff, implementing infection control programs with experts, and increasing testing. Nursing homes must participate in the Nursing Home COVID-19 Training (described below) to qualify for the funds.