Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the single-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. This authorization suggests that the benefits outweigh its risks for use in individuals 18 of age or older and permits the vaccine to be distributed in the U.S., making it the third vaccine available in the country.“After a thorough analysis of the data, the FDA’s scientists and physicians have determined that the vaccine meets the FDA’s expectations for safety and effectiveness appropriate for the authorization of a vaccine for emergency use,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
Now a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of assisted living facilities are still waiting for federal COVID-19 relief, and for over half of them, closures are imminent, according to a recent Argentum member survey. They have faced over $15 billion in increased expenses and lost revenue, and these figures are increasing substantially each month. Meanwhile, provisions in the current COVID-19 relief package negotiated in the House of Representatives fall woefully short in protecting these seniors and caregivers.
Loneliness and social isolation have emerged as a serious threat to health and well-being—and the pandemic has exacerbated this in senior living communities. Argentum’s latest COVID-19 guidance, "Resident Engagement and Socialization During COVID-19," presents a solution: Activities that promote engagement and socialization while maintaining resident safety.
Topics: Resident Engagement
Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) updated the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) with numerous additional questions and answers. The list of new questions added is below, and you can find the full list with answers here.
HHS has made a few noteworthy changes to Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting guidelines in accordance with the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. It’s possible that the new administration will amend some of this guidance, but here is a summary of key updates in the interim:
Application of Payments
Former guidance states that PRF recipients may apply payments toward lost revenue, up to the amount of the difference between their 2019 and 2020 actual patient care revenue. However, the new guidance states:
The CDC has launched a new COVID-19 Data Tracker module that includes state-specific vaccine administration information for the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care program. The module includes an interactive U.S. map and data, which are updated daily.
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced that it is issuing new reporting requirements and that it will be amending the reporting timeline for the Provider Relief Fund Program due to the passage of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act in December.
As of yesterday, the CDC reported that just under 4.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been distributed for use in long-term care facilities. On average, 137,000 doses of vaccine are being distributed for use by this sector each day. Previously, the CDC estimated a total of 3 million people needing vaccines within this sector and as such, they have already distributed 146% of the doses needed for skilled nursing facilities, assisted living communities, and other long-term care settings.
The Vaccination Toolkit for Long-Term Care Facilities is now live on CDC’s website.
Update: On December 28, President Trump signed this package into law.
The House and Senate passed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package, which we anticipate President Trump will sign as soon as it hits his desk. Overall, we are disappointed in the provisions that have been set forth in this latest stimulus package. The package largely fails to address the needs of seniors residing in long-term care settings across the country and lacks the promise of the financial resources needed to care for them. While we are still reviewing the text of the bill, which was over 5,000 pages long, we do know the package includes the following items of note: