On April 30, 2020, the White House announced several measures to assist long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 public health crisis. First, President Trump announced the formation of the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes, a special nursing home task force to convene in late May 2020, which will consist of industry leaders, doctors, scientists, resident advocates, and family members. The committee will be charged with preparing the long-term care industry for future outbreaks by identifying infection control and mitigation best practices and providing recommendations to protect nursing home residents who are prone to COVID-19 adverse outcomes. Also, the committee will endeavor to develop approaches to coordinate the efforts of federal surveyors and state and local health authorities through the use of nursing home data to assess nationwide efforts to curtail the virus.
Further, the White House confirmed reports that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will soon begin distributing personal protective equipment (PPE), including eye protection, masks, gowns, and gloves, to facilities. Under the planned FEMA distribution, all long-term care facilities are scheduled to receive a two-week supply of PPE before July 4, 2020. The first FEMA shipments are scheduled to be issued to operators in New York, New Jersey, Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C. the week of May 4, 2020.
Additionally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will issue $81 million of CARES Act funding to states to bolster nursing home inspection efforts.
For more information regarding how these White House policy initiatives will affect long-term care facilities, please contact: