As surges in various respiratory illnesses – including COVID-19 – loom over holiday gatherings, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) held an Open Door Forum for skilled nursing facility (“SNF”) providers addressing their obligations to offer/provide COVID-19 vaccinations, vaccination education and COVID-19 treatments, and gave providers the opportunity to bring up questions about obstacles they are facing in achieving compliance with the federal requirements.
Overall, healthcare professionals are 10-15% more likely to develop substance abuse issues than the general population. As addiction to prescription medication has reached nation-wide epidemic proportions, it has become a major driver of drug diversion. Drug diversion occurs when prescription medicines are obtained or used illegally. Healthcare practitioners and facilities are the gatekeepers tasked with safeguarding prescription controlled substances. The failure of a facility to effectively prevent drug diversion leads to substandard care, the denial of essential pain medication or therapy, risk of infection, and even death. …
On Thursday, June 11, 2020, the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, chaired by Rep. James E. Clyburn, held a video briefing (the “SCC Briefing”) with experts and affected individuals to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nursing home residents and workers.
Continue Reading Opening Up America: Recent COVID-19 Data And Congressional Hearings Show That Nursing Homes May Be The Last To See “Business As Usual”
As we discussed in our April 27, 2020 blog post, nursing homes have become the focus of significant attention during the COVID-19 crisis. In many respects, the attention is well deserved:
- Nursing homes traditionally serve seniors who often struggle with chronic health conditions. As a result, nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus infection due to both their age and health status;
- Nursing homes residents are highly interactive with each other. The close proximity of nursing home rooms/beds and the personal relationships often formed among nursing home residents make social distancing hard to maintain;
- In order to relieve pressure on hospitals that need to reserve their beds for the most acute COVID-19 patients, nursing homes are under significant pressure to accept COVID-19 patients who have been discharged from hospitals because they no longer require an acute level of care but still may be symptomatic and require isolation and treatment; and
- Most importantly, the above three factors and others have turned many nursing homes across the country into hot spots for coronavirus infection and, in some cases, COVID-19 fatalities. Overwhelming data as to the dangers found in nursing homes is highlighted in the blog article referenced above.
On Wednesday, April 9, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) hosted a call entitled “COVID-19 with Nursing Homes.” CMS leadership aimed to provide updates on the agency’s latest guidance, joined by leaders in the field interested in sharing best practices with their peers.
Continue Reading CMS Addresses Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Providers Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic: Best Practices and What’s to Come