Two years ago, the Trump Administration quietly began a review of the nation’s long-term care (LTC) insurance system, focused primarily on ways to enhance private coverage. This week, just as quietly, an administration task force released its report. Unfortunately, for the most part, the group was unwilling to commit to any meaningful changes to a badly broken system. It made [...]
Likely Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has proposed a major new initiative to encourage state Medicaid programs to expand home and community-based care for low-income older adults and younger people with disabilities. While the proposal is ambitious, it addresses the long-term care needs of the Medicaid population in an especially complicated way. It still leaves huge gaps in Medicaid-based care [...]
Likely Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is, very slowly and cautiously, acknowledging the need to reform the way we support frail older adults and younger people with disabilities. In recent days, a task force created by his campaign made several proposals to expand home and community based care under Medicaid and support both family and paid caregivers. Since covid-19 has killed more [...]
As Covid-19 Batters The Sunbelt, Have We Learned Anything About Protecting Long-Term Care Residents?
What have we learned from the 50,000+ covid-19 deaths of residents and staff in long-term care facilities? As the pandemic spreads aggressively in states such as California, Texas, Arizona, and Florida, we are about to find out. Multiple studies found that facility-based covid-19 cases and deaths from March-May closely tracked the experience in surrounding communities: If a facility was located [...]
We Are Having A National Conversation About Race And Policing. Why Aren’t We Having One About Race And Long-Term Care?
Nearly every American knows who George Floyd was and how he died. Tens of thousands around the country took to the streets to protest his May 25 killing by a Minneapolis police officer. Just a month after his death, the US House of Representatives passed a major police reform bill—normally a process that would take years. If George Floyd has [...]
Nothing I have written lately has generated more heartfelt response than my articles about family members who, due to the covid-19 pandemic, are unable to visit their loved ones in long-term care facilities. And the writers are consistent: They want to visit, no matter the risk. Here are just some of the emails I’ve received in the past few weeks: [...]
The way we care for older adults in the US is, self-evidently, not working. In just the past three months, at least 44,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19. Hundreds of thousands have been sickened. And millions have been isolated from family and friends for months. Yet, this crisis did not [...]
Two Strong Signals That A Nursing Home Is Likely To Have COVID-19: Its Location And The Race Of Its Residents
We are beginning to learn which nursing homes are most likely to be hit with COVID-19. And while studies are preliminary and based on very limited data, they tell a troubling story: Location and the race of residents matter a lot. But they also tell a surprising story: Quality (at least as measured by Medicare), the share of Medicaid residents, [...]
“When will I be allowed to visit my mother again?” That’s been the question on the minds of the families of millions of residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other senior communities who effectively have been locked down since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold two months ago. Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) put out [...]
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) appears to be preparing to allow nursing homes to open their doors to families and other visitors, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. If not done carefully, this would be folly, and could put residents, staff, and families at risk. The new rules, which still are under consideration, would reverse March 16 CMS guidance [...]