A new proposal from U.S. lawmakers would send nearly $1 billion to assist nursing homes with infection control and help manage COVID-19 care for residents.
The legislation, called the COVID-19 Nursing Home Protection Act, was announced Tuesday by Democratic Sens. Bob Casey (PA), Raphael Warnock (GA), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Richard Blumenthal (CT) and Cory Booker (NJ).
It would send $750 million to states to establish nursing home strike teams and guarantee another $210 million for the Department of Health and Human Services to contract with Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) to provide infection control assistance to providers.
The proposed support is a significant increase compared to what’s been included in the House-proposed coronavirus relief package currently under review. That $450 million measure specifically calls for $200 million for ensuring skilled nursing facilities get sufficient help with COVID-related infection control measures through QIOs, and an allocation of $250 million to states for developing strike teams.
Booker said in a statement that the strategies are aimed at “giving states what they need — funding for ‘strike’ teams to help address staffing shortages in nursing homes and assist with vaccinations in these settings.”
Senate Aging Subcommittee Chairman Bob Casey (D-PA) lists the American Health Care Association and Alzheimer’s Association as two of the proposal’s supporters.