Katie Smith-Sloan, Hall of Honor

Q: What is most striking about LeadingAge’s recent situation report?

A: The report highlights the pandemic’s tremendous impact on older adults and aging serv

ices, particularly nursing homes. Testing is critical to protecting older adults and care workers, but providers still are unable to access needed supplies and rapid results. It is expensive and a complicated process for providers, particularly with new CMS regulations.

Q: The report found that testing could cost up to $15,000 a week for large nursing homes. How much of a hardship is this?

A: $15,000 a week is not affordable nor sustainable for most providers. Testing costs vary depending on staff size and frequency of testing (based on community COVID-19 rates). Providers are having to pay out of their own pockets for test supplies, staff time and [personal protective equipment] used during testing. With no end to the pandemic in sight, the financial impact is disastrous.

Q: What should facilities take from a report like this?

A: There is an urgent need for robust federal support to support care for older Americans. Without help, many providers will be unable to sustain operations at the current pace for another year.