All nursing homes are not the same, especially when it comes to infection control and keeping residents safe from deadly viruses. If there is any silver lining in the pandemic, it is that the virus plainly exposed the poorly managed facilities. Nursing homes that had rigorous protocols in place and which followed the letter of the law have come through far better than those which cut corners and put profits above people. According to the CMS, as of June 1, 2021, more than 650,000 nursing home residents contracted COVID-19, and more than 130,000 died. Those are the official government statistics, but the actual numbers may be higher. A recent report out of Michigan, for example, claims that the state’s official death count may be 100% higher than reported.
If you are looking for a skilled nursing facility to place a loved one in, and if you have a choice, we strongly encourage you to review the CMS database and compare infection and death rates. Forget about CMS 5-star ratings; the nursing homes have long ago figured out ways to manipulate their ratings. At this point, Coronavirus death and infection rates are the best indications for which facilities are the better or worse ones.
Seeking out Nursing Homes in the Covid Nursing Home Database can help you avoid unnecessary heartache
Note also that many individual states have set up COVID-19 Information for Nursing Homes webpages, some of which are more helpful than others. The Pennsylvania site is quite good, as it features lots of links related to staffing, testing, PPE, and other support, as is the California site. However, the California Department of Public Health site does not have a page dedicated to nursing homes and COVID-19.
Knowledge is power. The more you know, the better your chances of keeping your loved ones safe during and after the pandemic finally leaves us.
Attorney Wendy York of York Law Firm specializes in prosecuting elder abuse and wrongful death cases. For further information, please contact Wendy York today.