Feds Step Up COVID19 Nursing Home Testing With Rapid-Fire Strategy

The federal government recently announced plans to implement an innovative rapid point-of-care initiative for nursing homes to help protect our vulnerable population.

The plan is welcome news to the industry who will all receive the COVID 19 testing for long-term care residents, staff and providers.

Seema Verma, Administrator for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said, “This new testing initiative is critical for keeping vulnerable adults safe while delivering the quality of life they deserve.  It gives nursing homes the ability to swiftly identify residents that need to be isolated and mitigate the spread of the virus.  As one more tool in the toolbox, it represents an important step toward the long-awaited reunion of residents with their love ones.”  The administration and CMS are continuing to make nursing home residents a priority.  “This multi-pronged intervention represents the latest efforts in fulfilling that unwavering commitment.  As caseloads continue to increase in areas around the country, it has never been more important that nursing homes have what they need to maintain a sturdy defense against the virus.”

Mark Parkingson, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association that represents 14,000 skilled nursing centers and assisted living communities said, “Repeated and ongoing testing is the only way we are going to beat this virus.”  

It is hard to win this battle without the proper resources for nursing homes and assisted living communities.  Both have been calling for access to additional testing, personal protective equipment and staffing.

For nursing homes and assisted living communities to win the dreadful COVID-19 war, on-site reliable testing with rapid results is vital to the wellness and safety for their vulnerable residents. 

Congratulations to our federal government for this outstanding decision on behalf of providers and the vulnerable long-term-care population!  Since our inception, we have gone the distance to advocate for quality and affordable care for our seniors.  We believe this is a major victory for residents, staff and providers.  Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Admiral Bret Giroir described the plan as “Rapid on the spot, 20 tests per hour with the goal of getting the testing to all 15,400 nursing homes within the country.”  We agree and think it is imperative that HHS expands this initiative to make it widely available in the months ahead.


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