The figures represent the first official national account of fatal accidents in the 15,000 care homes receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding. However, the list is incomplete. About 20 percent of the country’s nursing homes did not report necessary case and death data to the federal government, which began collecting the information last month.
Of those who reported, one in five saw at least one death from covid-19 and one in four had the least positive cases.
An early CMS analysis showed that homes with historical health deficiencies ̵
For several weeks, some states and facilities have declined to release cases and deaths to the public, citing privacy concerns. The new federal data, although limited, comes after months of criticism from watchdog groups and patients’ families, who argued that case tracking is crucial to public health.
Since the first known outbreak of a nursing home in Washington state in February, some states have repeatedly declined to state affected facilities or describe the extent of the problem, forcing families to ask for information from homes that were often reluctant to release details.
“I think people have the right to know what’s going on – and not all of this is hiding,” said Toby Edelman, a senior political lawyer at the Nonprofit Center for Medicare Advocacy. “If the nursing home were just telling the truth, people would respect them much more than this language if” we love our residents. “
With a patchwork of reports from states, media accounts have previously laid the death toll on nursing homes for tens of thousands. The estimates included all types of health care facilities, such as health centers and group homes.
A Washington Post report of deaths at the nursing home, based on state reports since the pandemic, shows that more than 27,000 residents have died.
In April, CMS announced that all nursing homes would need to report case information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention every week. CMS requested information by May 17, but gave the nursing home a two-week period of service to report.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma on Monday said the agency will distribute $ 80 million to states to increase infection control inspections of nursing homes during the pandemic. States that have not inspected all Medicare-certified homes by July 31 will lose some of the money and will have to submit a corrective plan to the government.