Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, along with Representatives Ron Kind (WI-03), Fred Upton (MI-06) and Michael Burgess (TX-26) introduced bipartisan legislation to provide additional resources for nursing homes to enhance quality of care and safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic and ensure nursing homes are prepared for future public health crises.
The Infection Control Training and Support Act would provide an additional $210 million for quality and infection control support for nursing homes. The legislation comes as the House Ways and Means Committee today holds a hearing on protecting Americans living in nursing homes.
Coronavirus has hit vulnerable populations in nursing homes especially hard. Nationwide, over 32,000 nursing home residents have died from the virus, which is over one-fourth of COVID-19 deaths. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, 2,011 nursing home residents and 20 employees at facilities across the state have died from the coronavirus.
"We must do more to ensure the safety of our loved ones living and working in long-term care facilities who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus," Congressman Kildee said. "This bipartisan legislation would help with resources to provide quality care to patients and reduce infections. By helping nursing homes with additional resources, best practices and expert clinical guidance, we can help better protect older Michiganders and long-term care workers."
The legislation is endorsed by American Health Quality Association, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, LeadingAge, The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, American College of Health Care Administrators, and Chicago Internal Medicine Practice and Research.
The Infection Control Training and Support Act would require the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide $210 million to Skilled Nursing Facilities struggling with infection control through the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program. The text of this legislation was included in The Heroes Act, which passed the House on May 15 with bipartisan support.