What COVID-19 Exposed in Long-Term Care – How You Can Help
Contact your legislators at the state and federal level and demand the following:
- Funding for resources and cost of the pandemic for skilled nursing and long-term care facilities.
- Advocate for CAREs funding to be used effectively (funding for contact tracing and centralized state resources for LTC)
- Additional and ongoing support for Skilled Nursing Facilities and long-term care facilities
- Including testing, infection control, clinical care consultations, Personal Protective Equipment for staff, systems for assuring adequate staffing levels, and supportive services their staff such as childcare
- Continue the Regional Response Health Collaborative (RRHC) Program
- Prioritize access to vaccines for staff and residents.
Contact your legislators at the state and federal level:
- Ask the legislator to increase the Medicaid budget and close the Medicaid reimbursement gap.
- Ask the legislator to increase wages for long term care employees.
- Ask the legislator to expand the caregiver support program
Find your legislators here:
Immediate Action talking points:
As a Pennsylvanian, I am seeking commitment and leadership to get more resources devoted to long term care centers, such as skilled nursing facilities, during this unprecedented public health crisis. Long term care facilities, especially skilled nursing facilities present ideal conditions for the spread of the COVID-19 virus and as we are seeing, they are accounting for a substantial portion of the deaths associated with this disease. Now is the time for our state and national legislators to commit resources to fund the cost of efforts.
Skilled Nursing Facilities and long term care facilities need additional and ongoing support including for testing, infection control, clinical care consultations, reliable sources for Personal Protective Equipment for staff, systems for assuring adequate staffing levels, and supportive services their staff who lack child care services during the pandemic, have vulnerable family members at home, and fear public transportation but lack alternatives.
Prioritize access to vaccines for staff and residents.
With your leadership, we have the opportunity to reverse this. Yes, it will take money and it will take creative thinking to increase the cooperation between hospitals that provide acute care and SNFs that provide post-acute and long-term care.
Continue the RRHCP. The Regional Response Health Collaborative (RRHC) Program is a partnership between the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), Department of Health (DOH), Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and 10 Health Systems, including the Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. This program provides clinical and operational supports, and an educational platform for long-term care providers as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The long-term care settings served by the RRHCs are skilled nursing, assisted living and personal care home facilities. The RRHCs can provide clinical support for less acute settings that may not have on-site clinical support necessary to navigating the pandemic, such as personal care homes and assisting living facilities.
We ask that you step up to the challenge and hope that you will intensify your efforts so that we can move forward so that our senior residential facilities can become safe and responsible options for seniors and their families.