Report: Nursing Homes Group Requested Rollback Of Federal Mandate On Emergency Planning
A ProPublica investigation looks at efforts in the long-term-care industry since the 2016 election to ease federal regulations designed to help eliminate the spread of illness among the most vulnerable patients. News on nursing homes comes from North Carolina, California and Massachusetts, as well.
ProPublica/New Mexico In Depth/The News & Observer:
Nursing Homes Fought Federal Emergency Plan Requirements For Years. Now, They’re Coronavirus Hot Spots.
On Dec. 15, 2016, the nation’s largest nursing home lobby wrote a letter to Donald Trump, congratulating the president-elect and urging him to roll back new regulations on the long-term care industry. One item on the wish list was a recently issued emergency preparedness rule. It required nursing homes to draw up plans for hazards such as an outbreak of a new infectious disease. Trump’s election, the American Health Care Association, or AHCA, wrote, had demonstrated that voters opposed “extremely burdensome” rules that endangered the industry’s thin profit margins. (Furlow, Brosseau and Arnsdorf, 5/29)
The Washington Post:
For Nursing Home Patients, Covid-19 Means Isolation, Grief And Hope
A 91-year-old man in a North Carolina nursing home calls his wife four times a day just to hear her voice. At a New Jersey facility where 285 staff and residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a Navy veteran says the pandemic is worse than war. A grandmother living alone in Brooklyn feels her heartbeat quicken when she hears ambulance sirens close in on her block. And in Dallas, a 71-year-old has started to dread the daily calls from friends and family telling her another person from her hometown in rural Louisiana has died. Across the country, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities are being pummeled by the coronavirus. (Chason and Tan, 5/28)
Los Angeles Times:
California Requires Universal Testing At Nursing Homes
California’s health department has issued new instructions to all skilled nursing facilities to test everybody in their facilities in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus, a move that overrules a more lax testing policy allowed by Los Angeles County. Nursing homes have become ground zero for the COVID-19 pandemic because elderly people with underlying health conditions living in close quarters provide an almost perfect breeding ground for the lethal new virus. (Dolan, 5/28)
State Releases New Data About Coronavirus Deaths And Testing At Mass. Nursing Homes
Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in Massachusetts have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus — collectively, they account for almost 62% of all COVID-19 related deaths in the state. And after weeks of media pressure, the state Department of Public Health finally released figures for individual facilities, and committed to reporting this information every week. (Wasser, 5/28)