This week, two members of the Florida delegation on Capitol Hill launched the Infection Prevention and Control in Long-Term Care (IPC-LTC) Caucus “to implement much-needed reforms that became evident during the pandemic and to create meaningful federal policies to control infections in Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities nationwide, with the ultimate goal of protecting senior citizens and enriching their lives.”
U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., and Darren Soto, D-Fla., founded the new caucus.
“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 70 percent of long-term care communities were cited for infection control concerns, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The pandemic, which has severely impacted both seniors and staff in LTC and skilled nursing facilities, has highlighted the critical need for IPC reform to protect the 1.2 million seniors currently in LTC,” Bilirakis’ office noted.
“It is said that a society can be judged by how well it cares for its most vulnerable members,” said Bilirakis on Monday. “My colleagues and I believe we can do better when it comes to ensuring quality care for seniors, which is why we are proud to establish this important congressional caucus. Throughout the pandemic, it has been evident that seniors in long-term care facilities are uniquely vulnerable to infection, and that there are many opportunities to improve coordination of public policies to strengthen protections and drive better health outcomes for seniors. As co-chair of this new caucus, I am eager to engage a diverse, solution-oriented group of stakeholders committed to this urgent cause and to making sure all seniors receive the quality care they deserve.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted just how vulnerable our seniors in long-term care facilities are to serious infections,” said Soto. “Our caucus will work to ensure that they are well taken care of and protected in the event of another public health crisis. It is our responsibility to take care of those who have contributed so much to our society and be prepared to face any challenges that threaten their safety. I am proud to work with Rep. Bilirakis on this bipartisan effort to improve the quality of life of our elderly.”
The new group promised to work with CMS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and associations across the country, including AMS Infection Prevention Partners.
“We are incredibly grateful for the leadership of Rep. Bilirakis and Rep. Soto in recognizing the need to protect our seniors in long-term care and for their efforts to launch this caucus in the U.S. House,” said AMS Infection Prevention Partners CEO and Co-Founder G. Ellsworth Harris. “Every day, we see the impacts of proper infection prevention and control efforts firsthand and its importance cannot be understated.”
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