Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Many Nursing Homes Fought Federal Mandates For Emergency Plans. Now They Are COVID Hot Spots.

KHN Morning Briefing

The American Health Care Association congratulated President Trump when he was elected, expecting less Washington regulation on the industry during his term. One previous federal requirements was to draw up plans for outbreaks of a new infectious disease. Other news on nursing homes reports on a family’s lawsuit, end-of-life wishes and death data in Michigan, as well.

Newly Released Data Shows How COVID Is Ravaging Nursing Homes Across Massachusetts

KHN Morning Briefing

Data, provided after public-records requests were filed, shows that nearly 62% of the deaths in the state were recorded at 80 long-term care facilities. News also focuses on the financial toll the virus is taking on the industry across the country and comes from Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Michigan and California, as well.

Nursing Homes’ Multi-Million Dollar Lobbying Machine Gets To Work On Liability Protections

KHN Morning Briefing

The industry is vigorously seeking protection from lawsuits that will likely stem from the wave of deaths in nursing homes across the country. But advocates urge lawmakers not to protect nursing homes were neglect and understaffing were big problems even before the pandemic. In other news: how warnings about overrun hospitals put nursing home patients at risk; the White House fails to meet its goal on nursing home testing; a veterans’ home that had chronic issues to begin with; and a national reckoning.

‘Single Dumbest Decision’: Thousands Of Recovering Coronavirus Patients Sent To New York Nursing Homes

KHN Morning Briefing

The Associated Press reports on troublesome efforts undertaken for a while in New York where recovering patients were sent to nursing homes, places that even Gov. Andrew Cuomo called “optimum feeding grounds for the virus.” Other nursing home developments include CMS’ new policy for recording deaths as well as reporting from Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Massachusetts.

Even Before COVID, 82% Of Nursing Homes Lacked Adequate Infection Control Practices, Report Finds

KHN Morning Briefing

The GAO says deficiencies in nursing homes included inadequate hand hygiene among staff or the lack of preventive protocols during disease outbreaks. News on nursing homes looks at overhauling the industry, COVID’s racial divide, New Jersey’s share of the blame for deaths, Arkansas’ tracing plans and painful, botched testing in Minnesota, as well.

Nursing Homes Should Be Among Last To Reopen CMS Says As It Urges ‘Extreme Caution’

KHN Morning Briefing

The Trump administration’s guidelines urge state and local officials to refrain from allowing virtually all visitors into nursing homes or other senior care facilities until several conditions are met, including that all residents and staff test negative for the coronavirus for at least 28 days. Other news on nursing homes in Canada, Louisiana, California and Nevada is reported.

Pandemic Wreaked Havoc On Hospitals’ Tried-And-True Playbook For Turning A Profit

KHN Morning Briefing

Before the pandemic, hospitals relied on this strategy to make money: provide surgeries, scans and other well-reimbursed services to privately insured patients, whose plans pay higher prices than public programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Then the pandemic turned the world upside down. In other news on hospitals and costs: rural care deserts, liability protections and payment models.

IRS Relaxes Normally Strict Rules To Allow Workers To Make Changes To Health Insurance Plans

KHN Morning Briefing

But the policy change doesn’t require employers to offer these options; they must opt in if they want to give their employees added flexibility. In other insurance and cost news: hospital lobbyists seek higher COBRA subsidies from Congress, UnitedHealthcare to have bigger footprint in ACA marketplace, how Medicaid and ACA subsidies could help recently laid off workers, and more.

White House Recommends All Nursing Home Residents, Staff Be Tested In Next Two Weeks

KHN Morning Briefing

When asked why testing wasn’t ordered at the facilities where about a third of all deaths have occurred, President Donald Trump said “I would certainly consider that. I will mandate it if you’d like.” Nursing home news is from New Jersey, California, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and California.

CMS Draft Guidelines For Reopening Nursing Homes Allowing Visitors Threaten Residents’ Health, Advocates Warn

KHN Morning Briefing

A large share of coronavirus deaths have been in nursing homes. “There’s a risk and a liability when we reopen, no matter how we craft it,” said Kathryn Hyer, a professor at the University of South Florida. “It’s going to be very difficult.” Nursing home news is reported from New York, Maryland, Georgia, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, as well.