There’s no question that therapy today in skilled nursing facilities looks vastly different than it did several months ago — and for many years before that. What is yet to be determined is whether these changes can result in positive outcomes for all parties involved: patients, therapists and skilled nursing facilities.
COVID patients have been commingled with uninfected patients in California, Florida, New Jersey, Iowa, Ohio, Maryland, New York and beyond. While officials have penalized nursing homes for such failures, hospitals have seen less scrutiny.
The coronavirus pandemic will spur major changes in the dialysis world, particularly when providing services to patients residing in the epicenters of the pandemic: nursing homes. More than one-third of all U.S. COVID-19 deaths are nursing home residents. There are nearly half a million hemodialysis patients in the United States, and more than 10 percent of these patients spend time at a nursing home at some point during a calendar year. This reflects both the vulnerability of the elderly population to COVID-19 infection and the difficulty in containing infection in these sequestered communities with residents living closely together.
New York’s governor directed nursing homes to take COVID patients. But is it fair to say he “forced” them to do so, or that his directive led to the deaths of thousands of elderly residents? Most public health experts say no.
Experts say the administration’s approach with antigen tests could add cost and risk for the most vulnerable patients.
New research suggests the pandemic’s deaths are taking an enormous toll on surviving family members and worrisome ripple effects may linger for years.
As health workers were dying of COVID-19, federal work-safety officials filed just one citation against an employer and rapidly closed complaints about protective gear.
State legislators and Gov. Gavin Newsom have hammered out an agreement on a budget that rejects Newsom’s proposed cuts to health care services for older and low-income people.
Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the public seems more confused than ever. And health officials still are not all on the same page; this week the World Health Organization had to walk back an official’s statement about how commonly the virus is spread by people without symptoms. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews Michael Mackert, a professor and health communications expert at the University of Texas-Austin, about how health information can best be translated to the public.
More than 3,000 nursing homes reported less than a week’s worth of supplies, and 653 said they had run out entirely at some point. Stopgap FEMA equipment has not reached many facilities, and packages that have arrived have fallen short of promises.