AMDA and AHCA Jointly Urge States Not to Push Hospital Patients With COVID-19 into Nursing Homes and Assisted Living as the Solution to Hospital Overcrowding

March 29, 2020

States Urged to Work Collaboratively with Nursing Homes and Hospitals to Develop Appropriate Solutions 

Today AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine and the American Health Care Association (AHCA) released a joint statement urging states not to adopt orders similar to a recent New York State advisory calling for nursing homes to accept all patients discharged from hospitals regardless of their COVID-19 status.  

The joint statement says: “As organizations dedicated to preserving the safety of patients and residents in post-acute and long-term care settings including assisted living, we strongly object to this policy directive and approach to developing surge capacity. We are aware that other states may already be adopting a similar approach in order to free up hospital beds. This is a short-term and short-sighted solution that will only add to the surge in COVID-19 patients that require hospital care.” 

A decision to create more hospital bed capacity by sending patients to nursing homes indiscriminately, the statement notes, may have the unintended effect of making the problem this is trying to solve worse. In New York, requiring all nursing homes state-wide to accept all patients regardless of their COVID-19 status, even from hospitals that are not at capacity, will likely cause many more hospitalizations, since elderly people over the age of 80 with chronic diseases are most at risk of hospitalization—and they constitute the majority of nursing home residents today. 

“Our clinical leaders are experts in managing this frail and medically complex population,” says AMDA Executive Director Christopher E. Laxton, CAE. “In our COVID-19 resolution released earlier this month, we urged local, state, and federal government officials to work collaboratively with nursing homes and hospitals to develop solutions to the coming surge—including deploying alternative care settings such as hotels and conference centers to house hospital patients. We stand ready to partner on these efforts, to ensure that the frail older adults who reside in our nation’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities are not placed at undue risk of COVID-19 infection.”  

Read the statement in full and review AMDA’s freely available COVID-19 resource page, which is updated regularly.  


About the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine 
AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings. Dedicated to defining and improving quality, we advance our mission through timely professional development, evidence-based clinical guidance, and tireless advocacy on behalf of members, patients, families, and staff. Visit for more information.