Hundreds of thousands of older adults and younger people with disabilities are living in nursing homes only because that is where Medicaid drives them. They have no clinical need for skilled nursing care, and, if better options were available, many could be living in other settings, including their own homes. Medicaid—the joint state/federal health care program for the very poor—sends [...]
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 [...]
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: [...]
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 [...]
Could all those COVID-19 nursing home deaths have been prevented? No. Could some of them have been prevented? Certainly. And many more can be prevented in the future. How? With more testing, with better testing that produces rapid results, with more personal protective equipment (PPE) and better staff training in how to use it, with far better management of staff [...]
Someday, most of us will return to life before COVID-19. Nursing homes will not. The deaths of more than 16,000 of their residents from COVID-19 has profoundly disrupted senior living facilities--especially nursing homes-- and will drive historic change in the industry. Robert Kramer, president of the consulting firm Nexus Insights and a long-time observer of nursing home finances, told me, [...]
The Trump Administration Finally Is Requiring Nursing Homes To Report COVID-19 Cases. It Is Not Nearly Enough.
The Trump Administration has finally said it would require nursing homes to report cases of COVID-19 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and, eventually, to families of residents. The move is welcome, but it is far too little and, for many families, far too late. On Friday, The New York Times reported that more than 36,500 residents [...]
The coronavirus pandemic is a nightmare for nursing homes, their staffs, residents, and their families. While we know much less about them, the situation is likely similar for Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) and other residential care for older adults. As of March 30, more than 400 of 15,000 US nursing facilities had an outbreak of coronavirus—among residents, staff or both-- [...]