More Than A Third Of Mass. Nursing Homes Failed New State Audit

23 Mai, 2020, 04:05 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Nursing Homes Covid-19 Testing

According to data compiled by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), Minnesota has the highest percent of COVID-19 deaths from nursing home patients of any of the 36 states that report that data.

Dr. Charles C. Camosy, who teaches bioethics and moral theology at Fordham University, wrote in The New York Times that the "nursing home horror" revealed by the pandemic should be a wakeup call to address what he calls our "throwaway culture" and ensure that nursing homes in the future are better staffed and monitored.

But in a news conference last Thursday sponsored by the trade group LeadingAge, just as President Trump was visiting a PPE distributor in Pennsylvania, nursing home officials said they are far from ready to reopen, much less acquire the necessary PPE and testing supplies.

Given data that shows nursing homes have had a high portion of deaths related to COVID-19, Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, is calling for nursing homes to test all residents, a potentially costly endeavor he argues must be done.

Seema Verma, head of the federal Medicare and Medicaid agency, said this week that governors should exercise "extreme caution" before allowing nursing homes to reopen to visitors.

Less than 1% of Americans live in nursing homes, yet these facilities account for between 15% and 25% of Covid-19 cases and half of all deaths from the disease in some states; in Minnesota, nursing home residents and workers account for 81% of all Covid-19 deaths.

"Each state is trying to figure out on its own what to do". The Health Department has installed a temporary manager at Brighton, and the National Guard has been sent there and to other nursing homes with severe outbreaks.

"This is an indicator of persistent problems", the GAO's nonpartisan investigators said. The federal CMS took action, requiring the nursing home to retrain staff and submit a plan for corrective action to state inspectors. Nearly 70 percent of the country's nursing homes are run by for-profit companies, with the rest run by nonprofit companies.

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"Everybody has to be working in unison to make this happen, the ownership of the facility working with the state, and then getting help from the federal level", Boucher said. Nursing homes can have access to testing within their facilities or they can work with local hospitals or the state lab, or a mobile testing program, she said.

"If there needs to be a heavier hand moving into the future, I don't think there will be, but we're always prepared to do that", the official said.

A growing number of states have begun to mandate testing, but the decision is coming almost two months into the pandemic.

In the two weeks since Gov. Walz announced his "five-point battle plan", the percentage of COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota from nursing homes increased from 80.1 percent (407 out of 508) to 81.9 percent (663 out of 809). He heard from staff members who were forced to quit because of inadequate testing. He will be sending 320,000 testing kits to homes across the state.

"On [May 11], the President declared we have 'prevailed, ' but the reality is, even in the places where it's most needed, like nursing homes, all across the country, adequate testing is still unavailable".

"I'm not sure you can practically do testing every day".

Fauci said nursing homes will need to develop surveillance capabilities, to both prevent infections from entering, and to isolate someone if they do become infected.

The report also found that nonprofit nursing homes were somewhat less likely to be cited for persistent infection control problems. "General testing for all is a good start but when you look where are you going to go in the future, there needs to be a significant degree of surveillance capability", Fauci said.

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