Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) want the new Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes to include representatives from a state ombudsman program and address how facilities can access adequate personal protective equipment. The nursing home panel was announced in late April and may be composed of industry lobbyists, doctors and scientists, resident and patient advocates, family members, infection and prevention control specialists, and state and local authorities.
Other suggestions included having the commission encourage further data collection and reporting of long-term care residents and staff members to increase transparency, along with highlighting models for state-level pandemic response teams that focus on activities that affect long-term care residents.
They also suggested the panel help expedite the development of recommended practices on transitioning residents from nursing homes to other care settings and ensure that the health risks of seniors in nursing homes is considered in distribution plans for any future COVID-19 vaccines.
The AARP is rejecting proposals that would grant immunity to nursing homes and other aging services providers from potential lawsuits stemming from bad outcomes during the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the organization said “at this time of limited oversight and accountability, and horrific death tolls, Congress should not strip away the rights and protections of residents.”
“Nursing homes and other facilities should know they will continue to be held responsible for providing the required level of quality care. Legal accountability helps ensure facilities self-correct their behavior and address problems to improve care,” the group wrote.