Connecticut long-term care providers are calling on officials to develop as many as 1,200 additional emergency beds and increase Medicaid funding to prepare for a second wave of coronavirus cases in the state. 

The Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities/Connecticut Center for Assisted Living called for the additional resources in a letter to Gov. Ned Lamont (D) issued earlier this month, the CT Mirror reported.

“We believe that our best chance of keeping COVID-19 out of our general nursing home population and other congregate settings is starting the planning process now for establishing the alternative recovery center 1,200 bed capacity that we will need to defeat COVID-19 in our state,” the group wrote. 

The organization noted that federal and state support has provided a lifeline to providers during the pandemic, but more will be needed to further help them recover from low occupancy and dramatic revenue losses. 

The letter also calls on officials to increase the state’s current commitment of $1.3 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds for nursing homes. They added that providers will be on the front lines of this pandemic through 2021. 

“Two forms of nursing home assistance are needed: to address the sectors substantial revenue loss, the sector requires the equivalent of a 25% Medicaid rate increase until June 30, 2021; nursing homes will need a second round of deferral on the next quarterly provider tax payment (due July 31), including a one-year repayment plan,” the group wrote.