Long-term Care

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

(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.

(07/31/20) Building the Long-term Care System of the Future: Will the COVID-19 Nursing Home Tragedies Lead to Real Reform?
A blog post featured on Health Affairs discussing the toll COVID-19 has inflicted upon long-term care facilities in the United States. The authors recommend better integration of state and local communities and multiple providers as well as better funding models to improve long-term care treatment.

(07/27/20) Rapid Testing Aid Coming to Florida Nursing Homes, but Concerns Remain
A report on the implementation of rapid testing aid to nursing homes in Florida. The United States Department of Health and Human Services has announced plans to send testing machines to every skilled nursing facility in the country.

(07/27/20) Data Driven Solutions for COVID-19 in Skilled Nursing Facilities: MDS ‘Section Y’
A blog post published in Health Affairs discussing proposals for specific tracking of COVID-19 infection in skilled nursing facilities to help fill a data gap emerging in relation to long-term care. This proposal could allow better information for health policymakers and become a model for data-driven approaches to future health emergencies.

(07/15/20) COVID-19 Testing Falls Short in Long-term Care Facilities
While residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities make up 45% of deaths to COVID-19 thus far, only seven states have mandated testing for staff and patients. This patchwork approach as well as delays in getting test results back are contributing to more staff and patient illness, and less safe long-term care environments.

(07/15/20) After Care Home Refuses Free Tests, COVID-19 Sweeps Facility
An article covering how some long-term care facilities in Montana refused government help in testing their staff and patients, only to experience large outbreaks in the aftermath. Professional organizations like the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine are calling for all staff and patients to be tested for COVID-19.

(07/10/20) As COVID-19 Batters the Sunbelt, Have We Learned Anything About Protecting Long-term Care Residents?
An article covering some of the difficulties with providing adequate and safe care in long-term care facilities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Some strategies provided to protect staff and patients include increasing pay for the long-term care workforce and improving access to personal protective equipment.

(07/08/20) LTC Residents and Workers Should Get Top Priority for COVID-19 Vaccine: AHCA
The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living wrote a letter to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, requesting that those working in long-term care facilities and their patients be given first priority to any COVID-19 vaccine, as they treat the most vulnerable populations to the disease.

(07/05/20) Tale of Two Home Health Providers: ‘Value-Based Care Gap’ Growing Wider
As the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are promoting further commitment to value-based care, some fear the emphasis is increasingly on large, national organizations and leaves regional chains and smaller home health providers out of the conversation.

(07/02/20) 25M Long-Term Care Plan Expanding Home-Based Options Introduced by Raimondo, in Light of COVID-19
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has released a plan to spend $25 million on expansion of home health care options for those in Rhode Island. This funding will help nursing facilities with infection control, as well as targeted investments in home-based workforce programs.

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