RICHMOND, Va., May 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Virginia Health Care Association – Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VHCA-VCAL), LeadingAge Virginia, and the Virginia Assisted Living Association (VALA) released the following statement Monday regarding the new Licensed Nursing Homes Dashboard released by the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA):
VHCA-VCAL, LeadingAge Virginia, and VALA members support open and transparent communication with our residents, families, and other stakeholders because knowledge and timely data is critical during this unprecedented global health crisis. Our public health officials need to know where to send urgently needed resources.
VHHA has published a "Licensed Nursing Homes Dashboard" from the Virginia Hospital Alerting and Status System (VHASS) that shows COVID-19 cases and personal protective equipment needs across the state.
"We hope this public reporting illustrates the ongoing urgent need to support long-term care right now," said Keith Hare, president and CEO of VHCA-VCAL. "Virginia's long-term care providers – both nursing homes and assisted living facilities – are working every day to stop the spread of COVID-19 and follow proper infection control procedures while making sure our residents still receive the daily care they require."
The Licensed Nursing Homes Dashboard shows only a partial picture of the ongoing needs of Virginia's long-term care facilities as they take unprecedented steps to prevent further spread of COVID-19. The data in the dashboard is derived from information long-term care facilities are voluntarily reporting to VHASS. Both nursing homes and assisted living facilities are reporting to VHASS as an avenue to help them get the supplies and resources they need to keep residents safe.
In addition to the voluntary VHASS reporting, Virginia's nursing homes have been in compliance with requirements to report COVID-19 cases to their local health departments, the VDH Office of Licensure and Certification, and now to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) via the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Virginia's assisted living facilities are also reporting cases to their local health departments and to the Virginia Department of Social Services, as well as reporting their personal protective equipment (PPE) burnrate and inventory to DSS. Assisted living facilities may choose to use the NHSN.
It is important to note the dashboard does not include any data from assisted living facilities, which have also been impacted by COVID-19 cases and share many of the same concerns and needs of nursing homes as they continuously care for residents who are vulnerable to COVID-19.
"We continue to encourage providers to be transparent in communications with officials, staff members, residents, and public stakeholders, but we also encourage discretion in interpreting any report data to make sure that one community's experience or needs are not implied of another community. Each community has unique needs and has varying support channels," said Judy Hackler, executive director of VALA.
"There is no doubt that COVID-19 is taking a toll on nursing home and assisted living residents. This is not just a challenge here in Virginia but across the country. Our caregivers are undertaking heroic responsibilities." said Melissa Andrews, president and CEO of LeadingAge Virginia.
"This information reinforces the need for state and federal officials to continue to rally around long-term care providers to prioritize additional testing, personal protective equipment, staffing, and funding to address this crisis," added Hare.
The Virginia Health Care Association – Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VHCA-VCAL) is a member-driven organization dedicated to advocating for and representing the interests of over 345 Virginia nursing and assisted living facilities, the over 90,000 residents and patients they serve annually through the selfless efforts of nearly 50,000 dedicated care-giving staff. VHCA-VCAL is the Commonwealth's largest association representing long term care. Visit www.vhca.org for more information.
About LeadingAge Virginia
LeadingAge Virginia is an association of not-for-profit older adult services organizations serving residents and clients through its more than 130 life plan/continuing care retirement communities, senior housing, assisted living, nursing homes, adult day centers and home and community based services members. We are not-for-profit organizations working together to expand the world of possibilities for aging. Visit www.leadingagevirginia.org for more information.
The Virginia Assisted Living Association (VALA) is a non-profit membership association dedicated to providing advocacy, communication, education, and resources for Virginia's assisted living industry. With approximately 180 members, VALA represents assisted living communities that portray the entire spectrum of the industry: communities that are both non-profit and for-profit and communities that range in resident capacity from 8 to several hundred residents. VALA advocates for quality senior living that is affordable and welcoming of individuals with a variety of interests, abilities, and personal preferences. Visit www.valainfo.org for more information.
SOURCE Virginia Health Care Association - Virginia Center for Assisted Living, LeadingAge Virginia, and Virginia Assisted Living Association