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INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 11, 2021) The Indiana Health Care Association/Indiana Center for Assisted Living (IHCA/INCAL) issued the statement below following the release of updated visitation guidelines for nursing facilities by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on March 10, 2021.
“On behalf of Indiana’s long-term care community, we welcome CMS’s announcement to increase visitation options for nursing home residents. We are encouraged that after nearly one year, our residents and their families will be able to reconnect and resume the much-needed social interaction in a safe and protected environment. It will be so meaningful for vaccinated residents to once again hug their loved ones. We thank our dedicated staff members for going above and beyond during an exceptionally challenging year to not just battle the deadly virus but also fill in for loved ones and seamlessly transition to virtual visitation by leveraging technology when needed. This is certainly a positive news and our communities are enthusiastically waiting to safely reopen our doors while implementing the highest levels of infection control protocols, which the new guidance emphasizes as these new flexibilities are implemented.
These new guidance are possible due to the sharp decline in COVID-19 cases in nursing facilities in Indiana and across the country, which experts attribute to the widespread vaccination efforts. More than three million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in nursing facilities across the country and we urge public health officials to continue to prioritize vaccines for long-term care residents and staff in order to help facilitate these reunifications.
IHCA/INCAL expects the Indiana Department of Health will soon update their visitation guidelines in the coming days to align with CMS’s revised guidance. We will continue to provide technical assistance to our members to implement the changes. Highlights of CMS’s updated visitation guidance can be accessed here.”
IHCA/INCAL is the state’s largest trade association and advocacy group representing for-profit and not-for-profit nursing homes, as well as assisted living communities and independent living. The association provides education, information, and advocacy for health care providers, consumers, and the workforce on behalf of its more than 444-member facilities.