Local nursing homes receive some relief

Every nursing home with at least six beds in California will receive $50,000 plus $2,500 per bed as part of federal relief package

TULARE COUNTY – Businesses on the frontlines of caring for Tulare County residents most vulnerable to the coronavirus will be getting some funding to continue fighting for local seniors.

On May 22, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it has begun distributing 1,109 payments totaling  $356 million to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in California to help them combat the devastating effects of this pandemic. During this pandemic, nursing homes have faced unique challenges as their population of high-risk seniors are more vulnerable to respiratory pathogens like COVID-19. Nursing homes still make up about one-third of all cases in Tulare County. Last week, Tulare County HHSA reported the most up-to-date numbers for each nursing home:

Redwood Springs Healthcare Center in Visalia: A total of 209 cases including 120 residents, 69 staff and 20 others. There have been 31 deaths from COVID-19 related to the facility.

Lindsay Gardens Nursing and Rehabilitation: A total of 115 cases including 71 residents, 31 staff and 13 others. There have been 11 deaths from COVID-19 at the facility.

Linwood Meadows Care Center in Visalia: A total of 22 cases including 16 residents and two staff. There have been four deaths from COVID-19 at the facility.

Sierra Valley Rehab Center in Porterville: A total of 84 cases including 69 residents, 15 staff and one other. There have been nine deaths from COVID-19 at the facility.

Dinuba Healthcare: A total of 83 cases including 66 residents and 17 staff. There have been five deaths from COVID-19 at the facility.

This funding, which supplements previously announced provider relief funds, will be used to support nursing homes suffering from significant expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19.

“This funding secured by President Trump will help nursing homes keep the seniors they care for safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “The Trump Administration is providing every resource we can, from funding and direct PPE shipments to regulatory flexibility and infection control consultations, to protect seniors in nursing homes and those who care for them.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the viability of SNFs in a variety of ways. Since the beginning of 2020, SNFs have experienced up to a 6% decline in their patient population as current and potential residents choose other care settings, or as current residents pass away. In addition to nursing home residents, many SNF employees have also been diagnosed with COVID-19. These additional funds may help nursing homes address critical needs such as labor, scaling up their testing capacity, acquiring personal protective equipment and a range of other expenses directly linked to this pandemic.

Under this funding, each SNF will receive a fixed distribution of $50,000, plus a distribution of $2,500 per bed. All certified SNFs with six or more certified beds are eligible for this targeted distribution.

Nursing home recipients must attest that they will only use Provider Relief Fund payments for permissible purposes, as set forth in the terms and conditions, and agree to comply with future government audit and reporting requirements.

Visit hhs.gov/providerrelief for additional information.

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