Long-term Care

Information about the impact of COVID-19 on the long-term care, skilled nursing, assisted living, and home health care workforce.

(11/25/20) COVID-19 Has Claimed the Lives of 100,000 Long-Term Care Residents and Staff
This article from the Kaiser Family Foundation reports a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic for long-term care: more than 100,000 residents and staff from long-term care facilities have died of COVID-19. 

(11/23/20) Diving Into the Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act
This article highlights new legislation introduced by Maine Senator Susan Collins and Maryland Senator Ben Cardin with the intention of creating rules for reimbursement for telehealth services offered in a home health care setting, which has already been operating without reimbursement in many locations due to its effectiveness.

(11/17/20) COVID-19’s Deadly Lesson: Time to Revamp Long-term Care
A blog post featured on Health Affairs covers many of the issues in long-term care laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. Understaffing and infection control issues have remained long-standing issues in the long-term care industry, with a need to revamp understanding of the role of long-term care and increase regulation to improve the situation.

(11/16/20) Nursing Home and Assisted Living Workers Face COVID-19 Surge—As They Cope With Grief
This article covers the impact of COVID-19 on many in the long-term care workforce, where workers have been stretched thin treating one of the most vulnerable populations to COVID-19. Trouble sleeping and difficulties processing grief from outbreaks, deaths, and fear are all reported problems experienced by these workers.

(11/16/20) Demand for Home Health Care Surges Amid COVID-19, Shifting Industry Landscape
With a significant number of deaths from COVID-19 occurring in nursing home settings, beds are opening and patients are seeking to stay home for their long-term care and rehabilitation arrangements. This article highlights how the home health care industry is experiencing increased demand and shifting the landscape of long-term care.

(11/12/20) Nursing Homes Still See Dangerously Long Waits for COVID Test Results
This article shines a light on the current problems surrounding the safety of staff and residents in nursing homes throughout the nation. The validity of rapid-testing, the turnaround time for more accurate testing, and the question of whether asymptomatic people should get tested all come into play in the discussion.

(11/05/20) What COVID-19 Exposed in Long-term Care
This article covers the difficulties experienced by nursing homes and other long-term care facilities across the United States in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Years of financial and staffing issues contributed to a setting where 40% of all deaths from COVID-19 occurred in long-term care.

(10/30/20) State Mask Stockpiling Orders Are Hurting Nursing Homes, Small Clinics
This article, jointly published by NBC News and Kaiser Health News, describes the difficulties experienced by nursing homes, small physician offices, and rural health clinics to acquire supplies of personal protective equipment. While states are mandating stockpiles, wealthier clinics can place larger orders, disincentivizing manufacturers of personal protective equipment from taking small orders.

(10/16/20) Most US Home Health Aides ‘Can’t Afford Not to Work’ – Even Without PPE
A joint report from The Guardian and Kaiser Health News has found that while home health workers are a key component of the response and treatment of COVID-19, they receive low wages and lack of hazard pay, sick leave, and insurance. This leaves the workers vulnerable to infection and unable to afford time off.

(10/14/20) Poor Job Quality, COVID-19 Pandemic Hurt Direct Care Workforce: PHI Report
A new report from PHI identifies critical issues with the direct care workforce, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Low pay, insufficient training, and lack of paid sick and family leave are all listed as significant issues for the industry as a whole.

(10/12/20) Marketing, Workforce Management Among Top COVID-19 Challenges for Independent Home Care Agencies
This article describes how the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have forced previous rivals and competitors in the long-term care industry to work together and build coalitions to advocate for federal assistance and access to personal protective equipment.

(10/06/20) Pandemic Flexibilities in Long-term Care
This webinar from the Alliance for Health Policy discusses issues both new and old in long-term care. Expert speakers present on the recent changes and gaps that remain as exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

(09/18/20) Long-Term Care Facilities Must Prioritize Immigrant Workers’ Needs to Contain COVID-19
Immigrants make up a critical component of the health care industry, especially in long-term care facilities, which have many immigrants working in direct-care staff roles. As immigrant health and well-being is essential for the success of many long-term care facilities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, some recommendations are provided for comprehensive protection, improvements to working standards, and organizing for the rights of immigrants.

(09/10/20) Mortality Rates From COVID-19 Are Lower in Unionized Nursing Homes
A new research article published in the Health Affairs journal which found that nursing homes in New York State with health care worker unions present had significantly reduced mortality from COVID-19 compared to those without union presence. Union presence was also related to increased access to personal protective equipment, which may be connected to the decrease in mortality.

(09/08/20) COVID-19 Management: An Executive’s Firsthand Experience
An expert opinion piece coming from a post-acute care executive, detailing some strategies to manage COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. Some strategies suggested include developing and deploying a COVID-19 rapid response team, working with the local and regional community, and maintaining strong communication throughout the organization.

(08/17/20) With 40% of Nursing Homes Close to Shutting Down, the ‘Shift to Home’ Is Likely to Accelerate
An article discussing a potential shift to home-based health care following a report from the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, both of which represent more than 14,000 nursing homes across the United States. Their report found that nearly 40% of nursing homes are at risk of shutting down with difficulties affording personal protective equipment and recruiting staff to meet demands.

(08/07/20) The Pandemic Proves It: We Have to Reimagine Nursing Home Care From the Ground Up
An opinion article that argues that as the death toll continues to rise in nursing homes during the pandemic, that urgent action and fundamental reforms must be enacted to protect long-term patients and staff.

(08/03/20) Key Questions About Nursing Home Regulation and Oversight in the Wake of COVID-19
An issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation investigating the impact of regulation and oversight of nursing homes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As reports are becoming available it is evident that the majority of nursing homes met the needs of infection control, however nursing home quality of care has been raised as a significant issue.

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