Probe Finds Both Structural, Building-Level Problems Contributed to COVID-19 Outbreaks in Nursing Homes

A third-party analysis of the government and industry response to COVID-19 in nursing homes has found a host of intertwined issues on both the micro and macro levels, with reform recommendations that range from greater emergency collaboration to increased infection-control penalties. A wide range of problems endemic to both the industry and government oversight led […]

CMS, CDC Again Ask States to Take Lead on Nursing Home COVID-19 Testing as Strategies Could Soon Shift

As part of the federal government’s push toward stricter infection control protocols in nursing homes, officials this week again called on states to take the lead on COVID-19 testing — while also acknowledging that blanket testing strategies may need to change as infection patterns continue to diverge. Each state must draw up its own testing […]

CMS to Increase Penalties for Infection Control Violations in Nursing Homes, Reports 26,000 COVID-19 Deaths

Nearly 26,000. That’s the devastating number of people who have died of COVID-19 in nursing homes through around mid-May, according to the first set of complete federal data — which also found about 60,000 infections. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) on Monday announced the […]

Regulatory Roundup: OSHA Hands Out First COVID-19 Citation to a Nursing Home, Azar Promises Investigation in PA

A nursing home in Georgia operated by Winder Nursing was the recipient of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) first citation related to COVID-19. The nursing home delayed reporting the work-related hospitalization of six workers who were infected, according to a May 18 citation first covered by ABC News. The hospitalizations occurred as early […]

‘Talk to Your Governor’ Not Enough to Support Nursing Homes as Value of One-Time Testing Comes into Question

Senior housing and care leaders again called on the federal government to more aggressively bankroll COVID-19 testing in the nation’s nursing homes, arguing that the burden will be ongoing — especially since an already expensive one-time testing strategy may not be an instant cure-all. Given recommendations from the White House and Centers for Medicare & […]

Post-COVID Inspections Reveal No Infection Control Violations at Hard-Hit Nursing Homes in N.Y.

A significant portion of infection control surveys conducted after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic found no deficiencies at New York City nursing homes — even those with substantial coronavirus death tolls, according to a new report. Local news publication The City analyzed 35 inspection reports from surveys performed under the Centers for Medicare & […]

RiverSpring Health CEO: COVID-19 Pandemic Will Affect Nursing Homes for ‘At Least Two Years’

While the COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes may feel like a lifetime for staffers and family members, the CEO of a major non-profit provider in New York City warned that the challenges are only beginning. Daniel Reingold, chief executive of the Bronx, N.Y.-based RiverSpring Health, described the first eight weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, dating […]

Plan to Reopen Nursing Homes ‘Virtually Impossible’ with Current Testing, PPE Capacity

The federal government last week cautiously began laying formal groundwork for reopening the nation’s nursing homes, which have been under COVID-19 lockdown orders since the middle of March. But many experts both inside and outside the industry have asserted that nursing facilities can’t even think about returning to normalcy without substantially more financial and material […]

How Nursing Homes Can Bolster Infection Control — for COVID-19 and Beyond

Amid the national emergency caused by COVID-19, infection control in skilled nursing facilities has come under intense scrutiny, with past violations examined under the media microscope — and surveys from the government focused solely on the issue. That scrutiny is only likely to increase due to the challenge nursing homes face trying to contain COVID-19 […]

OIG Launches Multiple Investigations into Nursing Home Response to COVID-19

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) watchdog arm added multiple probes of nursing homes’ response to COVID-19 to its list of top 2020 priorities, with a particular focus on infection control. The HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) last Friday announced two coronavirus-related investigations as part of its ongoing 2020 Work Plan […]

As Nursing Homes Compete Against Bigger Rivals for PPE, ‘It’s Like the Wild West’

As skilled nursing facilities try to contain COVID-19 within their walls, or prevent it from entering at all, the skyrocketing cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been a significant stumbling block to their efforts. Without the proper PPE, staffers are at risk of contracting the virus as they care for COVID-19-positive patients, while residents […]

Birx Defends Testing Progress: ‘We Only Have 1M Nursing Home Residents’

The coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on Friday defended the federal government’s progress in encouraging universal COVID-19 testing in nursing homes, asserting that the nation has the capacity to test more people than currently live in long-term care facilities. “We only have a million nursing home residents,” Dr. Deborah Birx said during […]

HHS Releases $4.9B in COVID-19 Relief for Skilled Nursing Facilities

The federal government on Friday announced the distribution of almost $4.9 billion in COVID-19 relief funds directly to skilled nursing facilities, the first specific tranche of stimulus money for the industry released since the start of the pandemic. Each skilled nursing facility in the country will receive a baseline paymentof $50,000, plus an additional $2,500 […]

No Connection Between Nursing Home Ratings, Profit Status and COVID-19 — But Race a Major Factor

Differences in nursing homes’ federal quality ratings and profit status have no bearing on the probability of COVID-19 infections, a University of Chicago researcher said during testimony before the U.S. Senate on Thursday — but preliminary data does indicate a strong connection between race and coronavirus outbreaks. “Nursing homes are often a reflection of the […]