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.
Industry leader rebuts ‘disrespectful’ nursing home investigation
The nation's largest nursing home association's top clinician responded this week to a critical report focusing on providers' response to the deadly 2020 COVID-19 surge and the role ownership played. David Gifford, M.D., geriatrician, and chief medical officer of the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, wrote, "To then grade nursing homes on deaths during this window of time is disrespectful to the caregivers who put their lives on the line to protect residents, who are like family to them."
Gifford argued that suggesting frontline workers didn't do enough to prevent deaths "fails to recognize the nature of this virus as well as how public health officials neglected to direct resources to where the most vulnerable people were living. It's time we stop placing blame on nursing homes for a once-in-a-century global pandemic."
Nursing Home Staff Vaccine Rates Promising Ahead of CMS Deadline, But Boosters May Be a ‘Step Too Far’
While nursing homes across the country have stepped up their vaccination efforts, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mandate is still looming this week.
Nearly 85% of nursing home staff per facility are vaccinated, according to CMS data, and 87.3% of residents are vaccinated per facility. Boosted staff rates are more sobering at 40.5%, whereas residents per facility with their booster is 73.4%. Since the mandate was announced in August, some states like Ohio have made considerable progress, jumping 20% in vaccination rates within a year but still at the end of the pack.
Ohio has one of the lowest staff vaccination rates at 73.19%, only beating Missouri at 72.81%. The state is more in the middle of the pack ahead of 14 states with the booster included, according to CMS data.
Exemptions, education avert mass employee exodus as vaccine mandate deadline passes
As the deadline for nursing home workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or wear a mask approached, the industry was concerned that many employees would refuse the vaccinations and instead opt for wearing a mask. Thankfully this did not happen.
The reason this didn't happen is because of education. LeadingAge Florida, an organization with over 400 members who serve thousands of older adults across the state, has been committed to educating their membership about the safety and benefits of being vaccinated against COVID-19 and encouraging them to encourage their staff to do so as well.
Their focus from the very beginning has been on education. They provided explanation and interpretation of latest orders and directives related to the coronavirus pandemic in addition to more general information and resources.
As we go forward, it will be important for organizations like LeadingAge Florida to continue educating members on how to effectively communicate with their staffs about vaccinations and other health-related issues as they arise.
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.