Warren, Maloney, and Porter Urge Senate and House Leadership to Improve Data Reporting Requirements for Assisted Living, Behavioral Health and Other Congregate Care Facilities in Future COVID-19 Packages
Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-Calif.) sent a letter to Senate and House leadership urging them to improve data reporting requirements for assisted living facilities, residential behavioral health facilities, and other congregate care settings in future coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) relief efforts. Specifically, the lawmakers urged leadership to consider including provisions from their Assisted Living Facility Coronavirus Reporting Act, legislation Senator Warren and Chairwoman Maloney, along with Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), introduced last Congress that would address gaps in COVID-19 data reporting at assisted living facilities.
"Since the coronavirus crisis began ravaging our country, congregate care facilities have emerged as epicenters of the pandemic," wrote the lawmakers. "We strongly encourage you to prioritize strengthening data reporting requirements for congregate facilities in future coronavirus relief efforts and stand ready to work with you on this critical issue."
In July 2020, Senator Warren and Chairwoman Maloney, along with Senator Markey, released a staff report highlighting high rates of coronavirus infections, hospitalizations, and fatality rates in assisted living facilities. In December 2020, Senator Warren, Chairwoman Maloney, and Congresswoman Porter surveyed residential behavioral health facilities and released findings that underscored the need for enhanced federal COVID-19 data collection requirements.
Despite the vulnerabilities that all congregate care facilities share, different types of facilities are subject to different data reporting requirements. Nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities are regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and required to report specific information to the federal government on COVID-19 cases, testing, and deaths. Yet assisted living facilities, which also serve clinically vulnerable populations, are subject to very limited federal COVID-19 data requirements.
"Nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, residential behavioral health facilities, and other congregate settings provide critical health services, and the federal government should continue to provide the resources necessary to keep their residents and staff safe during the coronavirus pandemic," wrote the lawmakers. "Ensuring that congregate facilities-particularly those that receive federal funds-are required to report data on coronavirus testing, hospitalizations, vaccinations, and deaths will make it easier for health officials to track outbreaks. Our Assisted Living Facility Coronavirus Reporting Act, which would establish basic data reporting standards for assisted living facilities, offers a legislative framework for these requirements."
Senator Warren has repeatedly called for more detailed national COVID-19 data reporting and has advocated for better reporting standards and protections in congregate settings like schools, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, prisons, and workplaces such as meatpacking plants.