Latest Morning Briefing Stories
The coronavirus death toll exceeds 11,000 in nursing homes, which say the requested money would be used for protective equipment, hazard pay and lost revenue. News on the industry also reports on liability protections, a behind-the-scenes look at how infection spread in Maryland facilities, a lawsuit in Arizona to reveal data, a Massachusetts law shielding facilities, one family’s struggle for information, higher wages promised in Illinois and Louisiana’s changing efforts to name facilities with outbreaks, as well.
As states struggle not to collapse beneath the economic burden of the pandemic, they’re eyeing their Medicaid programs — often the largest budget item for a state — as a way to stanch the bleeding. Meanwhile, states are also asking Congress for help to cover astronomical unemployment claims.
Meanwhile, patient advocates say legal liability is the last safety net to keep facilities accountable. “If you take the power of suing away from the families, then anything goes,” said Stella Kazantzas, whose husband is among the more than 20,000 patients who have died in nursing homes since the outbreak. In other news on senior facilities: advocates push for a stronger federal response; CMS will form a commission on safety; an elderly social worker dies; veterans’ homes and those in home care struggle; and overall staffing levels drop.
State Medicaid directors are calling for more aid “in the next two weeks” to avoid widespread disruptions. Meanwhile, the pandemic is exposing the deep divide of how care is paid for in the U.S. versus Europe.
“I guess you could call it a little bit of a weak spot, because things are happening at the nursing homes that we’re not happy about,” President Donald Trump said. While some praised the decision, others in the industry say it falls far short of what’s needed.
An estimated 1.5 million undocumented Californians remain uninsured, and advocates worry that the group will be hit hard by financial setbacks during the pandemic. In other health care costs news: free clinics try to fill gaps and what to do if insurers bill you for testing.
More states are releasing the names of nursing homes where testing was inadequate and workers lacked preventive equipment, according to The Washington Post. More than 1 in 6 facilities report coronavirus cases. Nursing home news is also reported from Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Georgia, New Jersey and California.
Nursing homes have been particularly hard hit by the outbreak.
Editorial pages focus on these pandemic issues and others.
More than 50 older patients recovering from the coronavirus are being moved out of hospitals located near New York City into Sharon Health Care Center, which is located in a rural area and has a low number of cases compared to other areas in the state. Other nursing home news is from Rhode Island, New York, Utah, Washington, Massachusetts, California and Michigan, as well.
As more than 11,000 of the nation’s deaths have been in nursing homes, advocates call for universal testing for all staff and vulnerable patients, citing the federal government’s and states’ failures to not make it the top priority. News on nursing homes is from Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Louisiana, California and Georgia, as well.
Laid-off workers need money quickly so that they can continue to pay rent and credit card bills and buy groceries. But delays in benefits mean they’re going longer and longer without help. That in turn means the hole the economy has fallen into is getting “deeper and deeper, and more difficult to crawl out of.” Meanwhile, the surge of unemployed workers adds extra stress on Medicaid.
Ohio and Washington reports were unavailable for a Wall Street Journal survey finding at least 10,700 deaths among more than 35 states in facilities for seniors. Public health experts say nursing homes need better testing before allowing visitors again, once states reopen. Other news on nursing homes is from New York, Louisiana and Indiana.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar Azar declined to specify how much money would be allotted to help hospitals providing uncompensated care for COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, CMS warns that COVID-19 treatment could cause Medicare reserves to run out and Medicaid waivers are approved to help deal with costs.
Nursing home news is from Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, California, and Maine, as well.
Many nursing homes in the U.S. are fighting against two crises: the pandemic that is sickening and killing residents, as well as the possibility of bankruptcy. Other nursing home-related news is reported out of Michigan, California, Louisiana and Nevada.
Editorial pages focus on these pandemic topics and others.
Editorial page writers express views on these pandemic issues and others.
Editorial pages express views about these pandemic issues.
The Trump administration seems to be doing little to let Americans know they can sign up for health insurance through the exchanges if they lost their jobs because of the pandemic. Meanwhile, some states take steps to help people get on Medicaid during this tumultuous time. But in states where the program hasn’t been extended, Americans are struggling.