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(May 22, 9:05 a.m.) Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it has begun distributing 82 payments totaling $20,395,000 to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in Idaho to help them combat the devastating effects of this pandemic.

Nursing homes play a pivotal role in providing skilled care to our nation’s vulnerable seniors. 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. 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.

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 percent 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.

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