Contact: Lisa Sanders
lsanders@leadingage.org 202-508-9407

May 14, 2020 Washington DC – From Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes, assisted living, home health care, senior living communities and more:
“The recently released Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act) takes several steps toward addressing key needs of aging services providers across the continuum of care -- which we laid out in our Five Essential Actions to protect older adults. 

We are especially pleased that the appropriately named HEROES Fund provides appreciation pay for frontline workers. These critical workers show up each day to serve older adults in nursing homes, assisted living, affordable housing, and home and community-based services, including hospice–and deserve this recognition.

The bill also includes a COVID–19 Skilled Nursing Facility Payment Incentive Program, which we strongly support. LeadingAge has called for funding to create extended care facilities specifically for infected residents, and also for COVID-19 to be considered a ‘skilled need,’ allowing Medicare providers to receive compensation for the additional costs associated with care. Further, the proposed bill provides significant and urgently needed housing resources to address issues that are emerging from the pandemic. We are especially pleased to see the House leadership recognized the need for service coordinators in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 202 affordable housing communities for older adults with low incomes. 

Funding included in the bill to offset additional COVID-19 related costs incurred by providers is a good start, but does not go far enough. Congress must allocate $100 billion for an emergency relief fund specifically for aging services providers.

We will continue to work with members of Congress to ensure that relief legislation also provides significant investments in personal protective equipment and testing supplies, a $1.2B investment in relief for HUD-assisted affordable senior housing, and  reimbursement for home health telehealth visits – all to protect older adults and the people who care for them.”

About LeadingAge:

We represent more than 5,000 aging-focused organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we address critical issues by blending applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building. We bring together the most inventive minds in our field to support older adults as they age wherever they call home. We make America a better place to grow old. For more information: www.leadingage.org