This past week, Justice in Aging and 45 other national and state organizations partnered in sending a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requesting better protections for nursing facility residents during COVID-19.
The request included the following six recommendations:
- Require immediately that nursing facilities disclose whether residents or staff have been infected by COVID-19.
- Keep residents safe by setting meaningful standards for the necessary staff, training, and equipment to care for residents with COVID-19 and those without.
- Combat isolation by requiring nursing facilities to actively coordinate and facilitate telephone calls, video conferences, and other communications between residents and their family members and friends.
- Avoid disruption by requiring facilities and states to work collaboratively with residents and their families when making transfers designed to “cohort” residents with others who also are COVID-positive, or COVID-negative.
- Give residents a greater ability to move in with family during this emergency, by guaranteeing a resident’s right to return to the facility, if desired, and facilitating access to Medicaid home and community-based services.
- Require all federally-certified facilities to accept Medicaid, in every room in the facility.