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Safe Practices Needed

Published on March 30th, 2020

The Trump Administration will no longer allow federal investigators to oversee and supervise nursing homes. Federal regulators plan to halt inspections of nursing homes to focus on coronavirus cases in facilities across the nation. Unsafe practices, poor training, and inadequate staffing led to serious infractions at the hardest-hit location. Many nursing homes have long struggled with infection control, according to federal inspection records and researchers. They need oversight and inspections to maintain compliance with safe practices.

Under the changes, regular inspections of nursing homes, home health and hospice companies, will be paused for April. The number of abused and neglected residents will skyrocket in the next 30 days.  Especially since family and other visitors are prohibited from checking in with their loved ones.  The lack of oversight and inspection was made under the Trump administration’s declaration of a national emergency.

The move follows a recent inspection of the Life Care Center of Kirkland, a nursing home near Seattle, which is tied so far to 35 coronavirus deaths. CMS said the inspection found three major violations at the facility that put residents in imminent danger, including not quickly identifying and managing sick residents. Life Care said it had faced an unprecedented crisis and has fixed the issues.

 “Right now, the biggest threat to our nursing home residents is the coronavirus,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in an interview. “We cannot have a repeat situation like we had in Kirkland.”  However, she agency isn’t blocking one practice that the CDC said may have made several nursing homes in the Seattle area more vulnerable to the spreading outbreak: staff members who work at more than one nursing home.
Nursing homes house the population most vulnerable to the respiratory sickness: older, often frail residents with underlying medical conditions.  At least 146 nursing homes in 27 states have at least one infected resident, CMS said, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

 

 

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