Image of male nurse pushing senior woman in a wheelchair in nursing facility

Leaders of Connecticut’s nursing home associations are calling on state leaders to step in to save providers from what they warn would be financial collapse amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

“The evidence is clear and growing daily that a major financial commitment from the state is needed now to strengthen the ability of Connecticut’s nursing home sector to meet this challenge,” Mag Morelli, president of LeadingAge Connecticut, and Matthew Barrett, president and CEO of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities, wrote to in a letter to Gov. Ned Lamont (D) and other top officials Tuesday. The CT Mirror first obtained and reported on the letter.

“Revenue has collapsed in the wake of the disaster, and costs, especially staffing costs, have escalated like no other time in our history,” they added.  

Money, Healthcare

Providers have been dealing with a staffing crisis and high personal protective equipment costs during the pandemic response. Earlier this month, Lamont announced a plan to give nursing homes a 10% Medicaid pay raise for April, May and June to help cover wages, overtime, staff retention and other coronavirus-related costs.

The organizations added that providers’ efforts to combat the virus are “positioned to fail” unless the state implements a fiscal plan to prevent the collapse of the system.

Melissa McCaw, the state’s budget director, said officials are monitoring the nursing home situation. 

“I greatly appreciate the role that our nursing homes play on the front line of care with respect to the elderly and other populations,” McCaw said. “This is not the final conversation.”

In other coronavirus-related news:

• A group of House Democrats sent a letter Wednesday to the Trump administration calling for the federal government to track and publicly report coronavirus cases in nursing homes. The House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Aging & Families sent the letter. 

• Encouraging words came from Carol Herbert, the reigning Ms. Georgia Health Care Association, in a recent video message. “Just keep a good feeling because this will not last forever,” she said, telling residents to stay hopeful.