September 30, 2020
Coronavirus: the current situation

LeadingAge just published their pandemic situation report

The latest COVID-19 challenges, costs, and concerns for LTC

 

On September 9th, 2020, senior advocate group LeadingAge released important research on the current problems facing aging services providers. From nursing homes to skilled nursing facilities, the situation is clear: COVID-19 testing costs are unsustainable.

Titled “The Coronavirus Threat,” the Situation Report details current death tolls, infection rates, age and geographical factors, among other pertinent data related to the novel coronavirus and its spread. But most significantly, experts highlight the dire financial situation facing operators as they strive to keep up with testing and PPE compliance.

“New federal testing mandates for nursing homes went into effect last week, but availability of the equipment, supplies, and funding needed to complete regular testing is still inconsistent,” reads the report. “In July, HHS promised to send nursing homes antigen testing machines and a week’s worth of test supplies by the end of September. As of this week, approximately 1,500 shipments to nursing homes have not gone out.”
 

6 months later

Stats reported by LeadingAge COVID-19 and Aging Services

 
 

Cost is king

 
Overall, expenses vary greatly depending on facility size, location, and community COVID-19 rates. For large facilities (150+ beds), testing can cost up to $15,000 in a single week—a staggering statistic, given the pandemic has no clear end in sight. Not to mention, PPE pricing has risen in recent weeks with more and more healthcare facilities reopening.

SpecialtyRx will continue to monitor the coronavirus cost burden. Thankfully, advocates like LeadingAge are helping to put pressure on federal and state governments to ensure aging services providers have the resources needed to safely and effectively operate.

In the meantime, check out the full COVID-19 Situation Report and our top takeaways.
 
 

3 Revelations from The LeadingAge Situation Report

 

  • Testing kits are seriously expensive. Currently, costs run $25/test for antigen, $150/test for PCR, and $5/test for Abbott POC. This does not include shipping or associated staff training costs.
  • HHS is working on more resources. To supplement antigen testing, the agency announced the shipment of 750,000 point-of-care tests that require no machines. They are expected the week of September 14th.
  • Shortages are still a huge problem. Due to supply deficiency, operators say they are paying 4x to 8x more for gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, gowns, and other PPE (compared to before the pandemic).

 

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