The heavy toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on older Americans highlights the need to strengthen the nation’s safety net for those requiring long-term services and supports, according to a new report in the Milbank Quarterly.
The report proposes a system of universal coverage to support long-term care for all older Americans. But we’ve been down this road before — trying for decades to create a viable, cohesive long-term care system. What makes anyone think things will be different this time around? Continue reading
Photo: NIAID via FlickrTransmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient.
It can be difficult in normal times to get reliable, timely information from many long-term care facilities without filing FOIAs or diving deep into inspection reports. During this COVID-19 pandemic, it can be nearly impossible. So when Kaiser Health News’ Rachana Pradhan wanted to learn whether, and how, nursing homes were conducting all-important testing of residents and staff, it’s not surprising she ran into a few roadblocks. Continue reading
The COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe has been particularly fatal to older adults. Outbreaks in long-term care facilities like the one in Kirkland, Wash., drive home the extreme vulnerability of our nation’s elders.
The CDC’s March 28 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) looked specifically at severe outcomes in older adults from COVID-19. The first preliminary reports from China found fatality rate was highest among patients over 60, particularly among those with underlying conditions; the rate was as high as 27% for those 85 and older. Continue reading
Fewer than 20% of nursing homes in the U.S. are considered “best” under a revamped analysis from U.S. News and World Report, which is out with its 2019-20 ratings on Tuesday.
Ratings are provided for homes in every state and nearly 100 major metropolitan areas. California tops the list, with 169 nursing homes receiving a “high performing” rating in short-term rehabilitation and 157 “high performing” homes in long-term care, followed by Pennsylvania and Florida. Hawaii, Alaska and Washington, D.C., have the highest proportion of “best nursing homes,” with at least half of all Medicare or Medicaid-certified nursing facilities in these states receiving a high-performing designation in either short-term rehabilitation or long-term care or both. Continue reading
Image by Enrique Bosquet via flickr.
Some states are considering social insurance programs to help offset the cost of long-term services and supports (LTSS) care for consumers.
In May, Washington state became the first state to enact legislation that helps finance LTSS for its residents. However, these programs must also strengthen the direct care workforce, according to a new report from PHI, a national research and consulting organization, and Caring Across Generations, a national caregiving advocacy organization. Continue reading