Long-term care facilities would need to have a crisis plan to manage an outbreak of COVID-19 or other public health emergencies, have a stockpile of personal protective equipment, keep families of LTC residents informed of outbreaks, under a bill introduced Thursday in the US House of Representatives.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and co-sponsors Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the Nursing Home Pandemic Protection Act of 2022. Further details on the three-legged mandate include:

*Facilities must establish a crisis plan to manage the outbreak of diseases and public health emergencies, including an outline of procedures relating to infection control, staffing, personal protective equipment, outside medical providers and hospitalizations, and communication with family members.

*Facilities are required to maintain at least a 30-day supply of personal protective equipment on hand to respond to an outbreak. 

*As a part of the crisis plan, facilities would be required to outline how family members will be kept informed of outbreaks and public health emergencies inside facilities.

“At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing homes across the country didn’t always have the PPE they needed to keep residents and staff safe,” Sherrill said. “This common-sense legislation will ensure there is adequate PPE stored in our long-term care facilities as well as comprehensive reporting measures and crisis planning.”

AHCA/NCAL, while noting nursing homes already work under federal mandates, told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, “We support efforts to ensure long-term care providers are a priority for support in all types of emergencies. We will monitor this bill as it moves through the legislative process.”