News

January 1, 2021

Regional Congregate Care Assistance Teams (RCAT) replaces RRHCP program

Support to Long-Term Care Facilities after the Conclusion of the Regional Response Health Collaborative Program

In this unprecedented year, long-term care facilities (LTCF) have experienced all too often the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenges of caring for our most vulnerable populations while battling COVID-19 is incomprehensible to many. While we are grateful for the efforts of those on the front lines in LTCFs, they need more than our gratitude. It is imperative that LTCFs receive continued support in their efforts to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 29, the State Legislature appropriated $175 million dollars from the federal CARES Act to protect residents and staff in LTCFs. With this funding, and in partnership with select health systems, Pennsylvania’s Long-Term Care Task Force (LTC-TF) developed the Regional Response Health Collaborative (RRHC) program. Federal funding for the RRHC program ended on December 30, 2020.

With federal dollars no longer available and a constrained state budget, the Wolf Administration has prioritized the allocation of limited funds to continue providing facilities with support during COVID-19 facility outbreaks. This state-funded effort will leverage the expertise of the health systems through the Regional Congregate Care Assistance Teams (RCAT), a new, more limited, version of the RRHC. Starting December 31, 2020 through February 28, 2021, RCAT will provide COVID-19 outbreak support to facilities. Those facilities that were eligible for the RRHC program will also be eligible for the RCAT.

Continued support that will be offered to the RCAT-eligible facilities are:

  • Call Centers currently utilized under the RRHC program will remain available to engage health systems for infection control /prevention services and education in the event of COVID-19 outbreaks.o FacilitieslocatedinCarbon,Pike,Monroe,LehighandNorthamptonCountiespleaserefertothe chart below for updated Call Center information.
  • PPE will be provided with existing and new vendors. Refer to the chart below to request assistance.
  • Staffing assistance will continue to be provided by existing and new contracted agencies, as well as the PANational Guard, but will be more limited.
  • Testing assistance is available as resources permit through the Pennsylvania Department of Health’svendors. Facilities experiencing a current outbreak or support from a RRHC or DOH vendor will be enrolledin testing support first, and then the program will expand based on availability of resources.
  • Tomorrow’s Healthcare portal will still be accessible; webinars will be scheduled as needed.

CLICK HERE FOR THE MEMO FROM DOH AND DHS

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