Local news for South Florida reported on shortages of both protective equipment and staff members. These problems were still affecting facilities around the country as the pandemic continued into its sixth month.
After months of effort many facilities do not have enough supplies to get through the pandemic
Despite the massive effort made by the federal and state governments to get additional PPE to facilities, about 1 in 5 nursing homes around the country was short on workers and equipment as cases rose throughout the summer of 2020. Data from federal research showed that from May through July, shortages of both staff members and protective equipment essentially remained unchanged, even though new cases surged at this time. The south and midwest regions were most affected by these shortcomings and coronavirus related deaths in nursing homes.
One of the most alarming statistics is that less than 1% of the U.S. population lives in a nursing home or assisted living facility, yet these venues accounted for 43% of all virus deaths in the country based on the coronavirus tracking project. Other nations around the globe reported a similarly disproportionate number of nursing home deaths.
Non-profit organizations who study these issues claim that the continued shortages are a massive red flag. The lack of a coherent response was blamed on the federal government’s handling of the situation. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said that the current administration did what was required to allow these facilities to get through the pandemic successfully. The CMS is responsible for various standards related to nursing home compliance, but they said that each individual home is ultimately responsible for monitoring their own situation and ensuring the safety of their residents.
A study that was published in the Journal of Health Affairs looked at different four week periods from the middle of May to the middle of June, then from mid June through July. About 20% of all of the homes surveyed had a shortage of N95 masks and other crucial pieces of safety equipment. These numbers barely fluctuated throughout the entire summer, with shortages remaining at similar levels. Similarly, about 20% of all homes in the study had staffing shortages, which also were not remedied during the research period.
Experts who reviewed the data were most concerned that an adequate infection control plan could not be maintained with such significant deficiencies.
Get more information about civil lawsuits and nursing home neglect
You can talk with a local lawyer about an incident involving neglect or intentional abuse within a nursing home in Boca Raton or anywhere nearby. To learn more about civil lawsuits against these facilities and schedule an initial meeting, contact:
5255 North Federal Highway, 3rd Floor, Boca Raton, Florida 33487