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CMS administrator on new COVID-19 protections for America's elderly population

2020-07-23 | 🔗
The Trump administration announces new efforts to protect nursing homes amid the pandemic; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma joins 'Fox & Friends.'
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hhs will be distributing an additional five dollars billion from the provider relief fund to all nursing homes. I want to send a message, ofport and hope to every senior citizen who has been dealing with the struggle of isolation in what should be the golden years of your life. We will get to other end of that tunnel very quickly. We hope Steve theres, the president last night, during his briefing talking about new measures aimed a at helping nursing, home and long term facility residents from Covid, the administrator for the centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. Seema Verma is in charge of overseeing those facilities at the federal level shes also on the coronavirus task force and, as you can see, he joins us from d dot c Seema Good morning to you good Morning, Steve over the last two nights. The president has started with some of the facts that a lot of people have not heard and two
of the facts that a lot of people dont realize the median age of the deaths in the United States from Covid e is seventy eight, which is terrible and nearly half of all the deaths. So far have been in nursing homes and long term care facilities. So it really is important to make sure that our most vulnerable are protected as best we can thats exactly it, and there is just agreement, and there is just agreement across the task force, Dr Birx, Dr Fauci, and all the others that we need to double down the on nursing homes. We know the spread, has the potential to get into the nursing home and were starting to see an uptick in cases. So what the president announced is that doubling down of effort just last week, we announced that were providing point of care tests in all nursing homes. That means a nursing home can test all of their workers that they need to even their residents, and they can get those test results within 5 15
minutes, and that means they can then take the appropriate steps to isolate patients, and so also what were doing is providing them an additional five dollars billion and thats going to help nursing homes with supplies with staffing with testing. They can also use that money to purchase technology so that you know their residents can communicate virtually we, their loved ones, Steve Sure- and you know we know so much more now than we did a couple of months ago. I mean thats just nature of this kind of thing, but in the beginning I remember my niece Stephanie works in a long term care facility and they didnt have enough Ppe. They didnt have any masks. Nobody really had any masks at that point and in fact she would make cloth masks for the other nurses. Now were to the point where you know there is the proper ppe where they do have the N95 masks and where our front line workers are also protected, thats exactly it femas done an incredible job and one of the things that weve
stood up in the middle of all of this is a reporting system for nursing homes, so theyre, actually letting us know when they need supplies and were making sure that they have what they need. Fema has delivered millions of masks and gowns. I can tell you that ninety five percent of nursing homes are reporting that they have an adequate supply for the next week and then what were doing is the ones that are reporting. They have issues femas working with them directly to make sure that they have the supplies that they need Steve. You know, hindsight is always twenty slash. Twenty Seema and I know some people have suggested when you look at the proportion of people who are dying are so much older, theyre in the long term care theyre in the nursing homes. Maybe we didnt have to shut down the entire economy. Maybe we just had to protect the most vulnerable, such as it is now. We know that, but we are reopening as well, so this is really the direction the administration is focusing on now right, thats, exactly it and thats parking lot of the overall strategy. The part of
the overall strategy is to focus on the most vulnerable were providing funding, testing supplies to nursing homes, making sure that they have the technical assistance that they need. The president also talked about strike teams that if we see theres an uptick in cases in a particular nursing home, we can send an on the ground team of experts to help that nursing home get that spread under control to make sure that theyre doing everything they can to keep their nursing home residents. Safe. Also think that these efforts are really going to lead to just better quality care in nursing homes. All of this attention, our partnership with the states around oversight of nursing homes, is really going to contribute to an increased quality of care for nursing homes across the country over the long term. So I think this goes beyond coronavirus Steve. So many of us have loved ones and friends at long term care facilities and nursing homes, so its great that theres so much attention being paid to it right now, Seema Verma. We thank you very.
Transcript generated on 2020-07-29.