Nursing Homes and Care Facilities Were Sitting Ducks for Coronavirus
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
The scandalous state orders mandating that nursing homes accept discharged coronavirus patients from hospitals is making plenty of headlines – as it should. State executives like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy must be held accountable for issuing decrees that turned “nursing homes and rehabilitation centers into killing fields.”
But there’s another, more troubling aspect to this story.
According to the Government Accountability Office, 82 percent of America’s more than 15,000 nursing homes were cited for problems preventing and containing infections.
But only in very rare instances were enforcement actions taken:
…in each year from 2013 through 2017, 99% of the infection prevention and control deficiencies were classified by state surveyors as “not severe.” As a result Medicare & Medicaid enforcement actions against nursing homes were only taken for 1% of these deficiencies. Furthermore, 67 percent of these infection prevention and control deficiencies classified as “not severe” did not have any enforcement actions imposed or implemented, and 31 percent had enforcement actions imposed but not implemented—meaning the nursing home likely had an opportunity to correct the deficiency before an enforcement action was imposed.
Maybe we were lucky in those years. There were plenty of infections, many instances of them spreading. But only a tiny minority were “severe.”
But the circumstances were ripe – and nearly universal — for something horrible to happen.
It did this spring.
Nationwide, more than 28,000 nursing home residents and staff have perished because of a virus that preys on the vulnerable and those who care for them…numbers made worse by politicians like Mr. Cuomo.
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