LeadingAge Need to Know: Coronavirus - 4.6.20

Members | April 06, 2020

Daily updates as of April 6. 

We are sharing the very latest with members twice daily. Morning updates go out via email, and we’re hosting daily online updates each afternoon. And you can always visit the main coronavirus page.

The recording from Saturday's Coronavirus Daily Member Update is available now. And check out Sunday’s recording to hear LeadingAge experts’ answers to your most frequently asked recent questions in affordable housing, life plan communities, skilled nursing and assisted living.

Advocating For Members
LeadingAge successfully advocated for many of the provisions in the first three COVID-19 stimulus bills, as well as in regulatory guidance and policies that directly help members maintain operations while providing the best care and services during the pandemic. We continue working hard to represent the ever-changing needs and experience of our members and made a new, aggressive set of asks for continued Congressional action.

LeadingAge joined forces with VNAA/ElevatingHOME, National Adult Day Services Association, and leading hospice organizations to develop and deliver three sets of aligned recommendations, which include:

  • Priority Access to PPE Distribution and Testing: We understand the vital need for PPE in the inpatient setting, but now there is a major push to move patients out of hospitals to nursing homes or to home and community-based settings. Without PPE, our members cannot safely orchestrate these transitions, take care of new or current patients, or protect staff. We also cannot effectively safeguard patients, residents, or staff without knowing who has COVID-19. Our members must be prioritized to receive PPE and access to testing.
  • Increased Funding and Access to Payments, Grants, and Loans: Rising costs of caring for a full load of patients with a changing case-mix, buying extra PPE and other supplies, losing staff and paying overtime—coupled with decreased revenues—are already causing shortfalls for our members working in all settings. Any future stimulus package should include money to pay for what programs are spending on patient and staff safety, and to mitigate losses so that these essential providers can continue to operate into the future. It also should provide for housing infrastructure, additional staffing, and access to grants and loan programs across all our members.
  • Regulatory Relief and Operational Flexibility: This crisis has created unprecedented conditions for our members as they provide care, and has underscored the already-existing workforce shortages. We require additional flexibility to ensure that patients, residents, and clients remain safe and receive the best care possible. We recommend expanding provisions that provide relief in critical areas, including CNA and palliative care training, fees and penalties, payment adjustments, telehealth—including full reimbursement for telehealth interactions—and more.

You can read letters to Congressional leaders detailing all of our asks for the continuum of long-term services and supports, adult day services, and hospice. Know that our staff is following up this week to fight for each and every provision outlined.

Yesterday, we made a bold request to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar for $34.605 billion in funds to aging services providers from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund designated for health care providers in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). Read the letter detailing the request now.

New Insights and Tools From LeadingAge
LeadingAge staff experts are developing essential guidance and tools, and curating the most relevant resources for aging services providers.

Questions? Ask LeadingAge National, Your State Association, or Each Other
There are many ways to get help during this crisis. Staff at LeadingAge’s national office are always here for you. Contact our team directly or email us at covid@leadingage.org. If you have questions about local and state issues, contact your state association.

Join the MyLeadingAge Member Community COVID-19 group to ask questions, access resources, and share best practices for dealing with the coronavirus.