LeadingAge: Supports state administration’s commitment to fund continued nursing home COVID-19 testing

(MADISON) – LeadingAge Wisconsin commends Governor Evers and his Department
of Health Services (DHS) for their recent commitment to provide funding for continued COVID-19 testing in skilled nursing facilities throughout Wisconsin.

LeadingAge Wisconsin heard from DHS officials today of their plans to continue to offer biweekly testing of nursing home employees, as well as testing for symptomatic nursing home residents, through December 31, 2020. The continued testing initiative will be funded through existing federal CARES Act funding the state has already received, and therefore, providers will not be responsible for additional testing costs for the remainder of the year.

“The State Administration’s commitment to continued funding support for COVID-19
testing in our nursing homes is welcome news, said John Sauer, LeadingAge Wisconsin President/CEO. Providing for the immediate costs of continued testing within our nursing facilities brings some initial relief to our long-term care providers who are faced with ongoing staffing and financial challenges”.

Although the state’s testing initiative currently applies to skilled nursing facilities, the
state Associations representing both nursing homes and assisted living facilities will
continue to work with the Administration to ensure that the testing needs are met not
only for nursing homes, but also, assisted living facilities who are part of the continuum of care for many older adults.

“Our nursing homes and assisted living facilities are working 24/7 to protect, care and
serve our state’s most vulnerable older adults, and we are glad that the Governor and
his Administration recognize the increased cost of regular testing that is needed to
support long-term care providers who are most at-risk of financial hardship during this pandemic. It is difficult to predict the impact continued COVID-19-related expenses will have on the future viability of our long-term care communities, but the state’s testing initiative offers some welcomed relief.”