Coronavirus cases are been identified in thousands of nursing homes everywhere in the U.S., over 3,800 so far. Some states report that more than half of their facilities have residents infected with coronavirus. We may never know the full scope of this because the CDC admits it is not keeping track of deaths in nursing facilities.
Last year, after the pleading to the fed of the lobbyists from the nursing home industry, many of the regulations that nursing homes had to adhere to were either removed or diluted. One of these was a regulation that prescribed a designated function to be performed by a designated nurse function to manage infection control only. Infection control is a major problem in nursing homes, with nearly two out of three facilities tagged for infection control and prevention practice problems annually. It would seem that quality in infection control management was less important than saving the cost of a person on staff. Money over ethics.
Nursing homes are under mandated lock down with only staff and some regulators having access. There is no ombudsman oversight and family cannot visit.
Relaxing the infection control management and oversight has put the most vulnerable members of the community at inexcusable risk – just to save some money for the for-profit nursing home industry. This unnecessary burden has proven to be very necessary after all.
Regulations ensure a certain standard of performance. Regulations that are specific to quality care ensure that our loved ones in these facilities will be looked after the way we expect – in a quality way. The nursing home industry has abdicated its responsibility in this regards. Shame.