The Baker-Polito Administration Wednesday outlined ongoing steps to support long-term care facilities, including $130 million in new funding, expanded testing, PPE distribution and more.
The governor said that facilities which create dedicated COVID-19 wings and units and follow necessary safety protocols will be eligible for an additional 15 percent rate increase, or a net increase of 25 percent (approximately $50 million). These funds support additional staffing, infection control and supply costs throughout the state of emergency.
An estimated $30 million will support facilities that established dedicated skilled nursing facilities.
In early April, the Administration announced a 10% MassHealth rate increase (approximately $50 million) across the board for all nursing facilities.
To meet staffing needs, the Administration has:
- Stood up a Long-Term Care Portal to match individuals that have registered through the portal with the staffing requests submitted by facilities;
- Announced a $1,000 signing bonus to all individuals that register through the LTC portal to work for a certain amount of time in a nursing home, and;
- Tapped into the volunteers who’ve signed up through the Health Professionals Volunteer portal
To provide crisis management support for long-term care facilities, the administration has also contracted with a firm specializing in nursing home crisis management. They will be available to provide facilities with on-site management and operational support to assist with staffing, vendors, implementing infection control measures, etc. The firm will also support efforts to stand up dedicated COVID-19 facilities and wings/units within existing nursing facilities.
To date, in addition to the Beaumont facility, the Commonwealth currently has five dedicated COVID-19 facilities opening within the next seven to 10 days in Brewster, Falmouth, New Bedford, East Longmeadow and Great Barrington; and several others in the planning stages.