CDC Funds Cooperative Agreement with AMDA to Improve Immunization Rates in PALTC
Columbia, MD – AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care (PALTC) Medicine has been funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and implement strategies to increase vaccination rates among both residents and staff in PALTC settings. Vaccination rates in PALTC staff in particular lag significantly behind the rest of health care, despite abundant evidence that staff are a key vector of infection transmission, leading to avoidable outbreaks, illness, hospitalization, and death. CDC has funded the first year of a five-year, $10.5 million agreement to work across skilled nursing facilities, long-term care nursing homes, assisted living and independent living communities, continuing care retirement communities, hospice, and home- and community-based care such as PACE programs to improve vaccine uptake.
The program aims to incorporate relevant routine adult vaccinations—for example, COVID-19, flu, pneumonia, shingles, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)—into the standard of care for PALTC. AMDA will focus on activities leading to the adoption and integration of the Standards for Adult Immunization Practice (SAIP) into PALTC operations and workflows. The SAIP recommend that each patient visit should incorporate the following elements:
- Assessing immunization status
- Recommending needed vaccines
- Administering vaccines or referring patients/residents for vaccination
- Documenting vaccines administered in the immunization information system (IIS)
As part of this work, AMDA intends to develop and/or update PALTC vaccine guidance, policy statements and standards regarding implementation of the SAIP; prioritize vaccines of particular clinical relevance to PALTC settings; and develop, pilot, promote, and implement quality improvement interventions to improve overall adult vaccination rates in PALTC.
“This is a timely opportunity to truly address the structural issues surrounding vaccination rates in long-term care,” says Project Director Elizabeth Sobczyk, MSW, MPH, who will be brought on to lead this effort for AMDA. “We will design and launch pilots with nursing home and assisted living chains and others, and then expand these in the subsequent years. The end goal is to make routine adult vaccination assessment and delivery a permanent standard of care for all of PALTC. I am thrilled to be involved in this important work.”
David A Nace, MD, MPH, CMD, AMDA’s immediate past president, will serve as the project’s medical director. “I am looking forward to working with the AMDA team, as well as individuals at the regional level, to meet our goal of making permanent changes to vaccination policy and to vaccination rates nationwide,” he says. “We thank the CDC for providing the funding that will make this work possible.”
Karl Steinberg, MD, HMDC, CMD, AMDA’s current board president, notes: “We have worked hard for years to promote appropriate immunizations in post-acute and long-term care settings, and it's so heartening to be recognized by the CDC as a trusted leader in this space. We are excited to get rolling on this important, large-scale, collaborative effort across the country's PALTC facilities."
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 www.paltc.org for more information.