* From the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living…
Hello Rich – Below is the combined cost for COVID-19 testing of every resident and staff of assisted living communities in addition to nursing homes which would cost $672 million nationwide. Click here to download or view a pdf version.
Last week, I sent you cost estimates for testing all residents and staff in nursing homes just once which would cost $440 million nationwide. Today, we are building on that data to include the additional cost to test all residents and staff of assisted living communities, which AHCA/NCAL strongly supports, with an additional cost of $232 million.
Below are quotes from AHCA and NCAL as well as an explanation on the difference between nursing homes and assisted living communities. As we pointed out last week, ongoing testing carries unsustainable costs without continued support from federal and state governments. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, Beth
Difference between Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Communities:
• Generally, assisted living communities offer person-centered care to individuals who need some assistance with activities of daily living, but who do not require round-the-clock skilled nursing care, like those residing in nursing centers.
• Many nursing homes are also known as skilled nursing rehabilitation centers, meaning they offer therapy to individuals following a hospital stay to help them return to the community.
• While assisted living communities may offer some therapy services on-site, they focus more on offering a home-like, long term care environment that maximizes independence.
AHCA/NCAL Statements On Why Assisted Living Facilities Need Support In Response to COVID-19:
• “For months now, we have been advocating for expanded and priority testing in long term care facilities to protect our residents and caregivers, but this is a significant undertaking and cost for them to shoulder on their own. Assisted living communities have yet to receive any direct aid, despite also serving vulnerable seniors. While building on support received from HHS, we are asking for additional consideration for all long term care facilities, whether it be in regard to additional testing, personal protective equipment, or funding.” Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of American Health Care Association and National Center of Assisted Living
• “With seniors among those most susceptible to the virus, the assisted living profession, in particular, is facing historic challenges when it comes to our most sacred charge – the health and safety of our residents. Unfortunately, shortages of testing and PPE continue to be a challenge nationwide and because assisted living communities are not medical facilities, they have not been prioritized for testing or supplies. We encourage our elected leaders to prioritize our most vulnerable and those who care for them in long-term care settings as they allocate these critical resources.” Scott Tittle, Executive Director of the National Center for Assisted Living
If you look at the chart, they claim 4,480,295 tests would be needed to test residents and staff one time. Over the past seven days, the average daily testing number was 386,318 (even though the President of the United States said a month ago that the country would soon be testing 5 million people per day). So, at that rate, it would take 11.6 days to accomplish the goal if the nation diverted all tests to nursing home and assisted living residents and workers. And it would cost $672 million. For one round.
According to the AHCA/NCAL, Illinois would need to perform 180,032 tests to cover all residents/employees. Over the past seven days, Illinois has tested an average of 23,587 people every day. So, it would take 7.6 days to test all residents and workers if the state diverted all testing to that purpose. And it would cost $27 million. Again, for just one round.