April 5: Weekly Long-Term Care News and Updates
Lina Camacho • April 5, 2022
Each week we will highlight three trending news articles shared from the long-term care industry. From nursing homes to skilled nursing facilities, this weekly post will catch you up to speed on what's new.
Officials won’t mandate second booster shot for nursing home staff
The state of Connecticut will not require nursing home staff to get a second booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, but industry officials are pushing for it.
“I do not anticipate that we are going to be moving in that direction,” Manisha Juthani, MD, the state’s public health commissioner said last week. “I think for the younger age groups of those who are eligible, there is certainly less urgency. The only urgency I see is that we may have somewhat of a spike or surge coming up over the next several weeks, so getting a shot may be another way to just protect yourself a little bit further.”
The state’s nursing home industry will be “strongly supportive” of the second booster for residents, according to Matthew Barrett, President and CEO of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities. “It offers maximum protection. For the vulnerable population that we serve, the vaccine has demonstrated in study after study that it lessens the severity of illness,” he told a local news organization.
‘We’ve Got a Real Problem Here’: Parkinson Warns SNF Operators Could Face Medicare Funding Cuts
Medicare cuts may be on the horizon. The head of the biggest nursing home trade group in the country has said that skilled nursing operators could face budget shortfalls if proposed Medicare funding cuts go through.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is expected to release its latest proposed payment rule for skilled nursing providers in the coming weeks. American Health Care Association President and CEO Mark Parkinson warned that this year’s effort will be different – and even more critical – than ever before.
“The tea leaves are indicating that we’ve got a real problem here. So we’re working as hard as we can to make the best possible case that nursing homes have never been in a worse position and this would not be a good time for a cut,” Parkinson told Skilled Nursing News during a virtual event hosted by the news organization on Thursday.
Nursing home operators have successfully fought against similar cuts in the past, but this effort may be different.
CDC: Omicron BA.2 variant is now dominant in U.S.
In a new report, the CDC has announced that the fast-spreading sub-variant of omicron, BA.2, now accounts for 55% of U.S. COVID-19 infections. The data tracks a steady increase in prevalence, with the sub-variant responsible for only 7.4% cases by late February, according to the CDC’s COVID-19 Data Tracker.
Although more highly transmissible than the original omicron variant, the omicron sub-variant does not appear to be more deadly. Yet its growing dominance has created concerns about COVID-19 treatment efficacy and has left health officials on guard for a potential uptick in infections.
The current prevalence of BA.2 varies across the United States: it accounts for more than 70% of cases in the Northeast but only 35% in the South and West.
Thank you for reading this week's edition of Weekly Long-Term Care News and Updates, from BASE10. We hope you enjoyed learning about the industry's latest news and findings. To be notified for next week's post, please subscribe to our email newsletter down below.
About BASE10 Genetics, Inc.
Located in Chicago, BASE10 is a healthcare software technology company whose platform creates turnkey disease management programs that can be deployed at scale for nursing home operators, pharmacies, payors, and self-funded employers.
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