Combined testing costs for nursing homes & assisted living communities: $672 million nationwide
According to a recent estimate by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), the combined cost for COVID-19 testing of every resident and staff of assisted living communities and nursing homes would be approximately $672 million nationwide.
Broken down separately, testing all residents and staff in nursing homes alone would cost $440 million nationwide. A subsequent addition to the data compiled by AHCA finds that at assisted living communities, it would cost $232 million to test all residents and staff.
For months now, we have been advocating for expanded and priority testing in long term care facilities to protect our residents and caregivers, but this is a significant undertaking and cost for them to shoulder on their own. Assisted living communities have yet to receive any direct aid, despite also serving vulnerable seniors. While building on support received from HHS, we are asking for additional consideration for all long term care facilities, whether it be in regard to additional testing, personal protective equipment, or funding,” said Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of American Health Care Association and National Center of Assisted Living.
AHCA/NCAL found that there are 15,429 total nursing homes in the US housing 1,327,678 residents and employing 1,603,800 staff members. There are 42,382 assisted living communities housing 1,093,869 residents and employing 454,948 staff members.
Combining these totals, AHCA/NCAL estimated that 4,480,295 initial tests would be needed, with a price tag of $672,044,250.
Unfortunately, shortages of testing and PPE continue to be a challenge nationwide and because assisted living communities are not medical facilities, they have not been prioritized for testing or supplies. We encourage our elected leaders to prioritize our most vulnerable and those who care for them in long-term care settings as they allocate these critical resources,” said Scott Tittle, Executive Director of the National Center for Assisted Living.
Assisted living communities generally cater to individuals who need some assistance with activities of daily living, but do not require round-the-clock skilled nursing care, like those residing in nursing homes.