RELEASE: Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Protect Seniors in Long-Term Care Facilities

Oct 12, 2022
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The bipartisan Nursing Home Pandemic Protection Act of 2022 is being introduced in the House, led by U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and cosponsored by Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1). This bipartisan bill will require long-term care facilities to have a crisis plan in place to manage disease outbreaks, maintain a stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) on hand to protect residents and staff, and keep residents’ family members informed of outbreaks and public health emergencies.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been working to protect North Jersey’s long-term care facilities and state-run veterans homes — helping bring in medics, federal resources, and PPE to combat outbreaks. There is no greater responsibility than what we owe to those who have given so much to us, which is why we must stand by our seniors and veterans who have contributed so much to our communities and our nation,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “With this bipartisan legislation, we’re working to ensure nursing homes and long-term care facilities are adequately prepared with crisis plans in place for public health emergencies, that PPE is properly stockpiled, and that families are kept informed of any outbreaks inside these facilities.”

“Assisted living facilities across the nation were gravely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and as result so were our senior citizens,” said Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1). “Seniors are among the most vulnerable populations, and it is our duty to ensure that assisted living communities are prepared for emergencies like COVID-19 in the future so that they can keep their doors open and care for our elderly.”

“At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing homes across the country didn’t always have the PPE they needed to keep residents and staff safe,” said Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11). “This common-sense legislation will ensure there is adequate PPE stored in our long-term care facilities as well as comprehensive reporting measures and crisis planning. It is critical that we understand where improvements are needed and do all we can to ensure that New Jersey long-term care facilities have the resources they need to protect residents and staff in the event of a future crisis or pandemic.”

The bipartisan Nursing Home Pandemic Protection Act of 2022 will ensure that:

  • Long-term care facilities have a crisis plan in place to manage an outbreak of COVID-19 or other public health emergencies.
  • Facilities must establish a crisis plan to manage the outbreak of diseases and public health emergencies, including an outline of procedures relating to infection control, staffing, personal protective equipment, outside medical providers and hospitalizations, and communication with family members.
  • Long-term care facilities have a stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Facilities are required to maintain at least a 30-day supply of personal protective equipment on hand to respond to an outbreak. 
  • Families of long-term care facility residents are kept informed of outbreaks.
  • As a part of the crisis plan, facilities are required to outline how family members will be kept informed of outbreaks and public health emergencies inside facilities.

Text of the Nursing Home Pandemic Protection Act is available to view here

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