To the Editor:
Re “Federal Response to Covid in Nursing Homes” (letter, Sept. 12):
I’m unable to simply accept the revisionist response from Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, to your Sept. 6 editorial criticizing the federal government for the excessive quantity of nursing residence deaths.
Contrary to her assertion of “early, rapid action,” we discovered the response right here in Lancaster County to be glacially gradual and dangerously inefficient. Rather than a federally coordinated response to the pandemic, we have been left to design our personal response, in specific to the acquisition and distribution of private protecting tools.
Early on through the pandemic, it turned painfully obvious that inside our group first responders and nursing residence services have been dangerously unprepared and sick geared up. Nursing residence residents have been being cared for with out essentially the most fundamental safety for well being care suppliers, similar to face masks. In response, a doctor good friend of mine and I organized a program to accumulate and distribute P.P.E.
Tragically, harmful inefficiencies persist in the federal response, notably relating to mass testing. We stay dependent upon the stuttering governmental response because the pandemic continues to wreck our well being and financial system.
The author is a heart specialist.
To the Editor:
“The Shameful Toll of Nursing Homes” (editorial, Sept. 6) fails to deal with a further disaster dealing with our nursing houses: deaths precipitated by isolation.
My mom is a resident in a New York State nursing residence. I’ve not been in a position to go to her since March. Her decline these previous six months tells an all-too-familiar story of seniors left remoted in their rooms, with household unable to offer assist, care and companionship.
Despite the efforts of devoted workers, she has misplaced over 22 kilos, and her dementia has dramatically worsened. She reveals what’s known as a “failure to thrive.” In reality, inflexible security rules have created obstacles to secure household visits. This, in flip, has contributed to her fast decline.
It doesn’t need to be this manner. To permit for secure visits, members of the family must be topic to the identical security protocols as workers.
My mom is now in hospice care, and I’m informed she has simply weeks to reside. I’m nonetheless unable to go to her, take her hand and inform her I like her. When the nursing residence workers determines she is inside a 72-hour window of dying, I’m allowed an end-of-life go to. Certainly, we will do higher than this.
The author’s mom died shortly after this letter was submitted. She by no means acquired a closing go to.
To the Editor:
Your editorial is far-ranging in its critique of the nursing residence business and the Trump administration for the quantity of Covid-19 deaths in nursing houses, although I want it had targeted on the dearth of any complete nationwide coverage on long-term care as an underlying trigger of the issues.
In commenting on the Justice Department’s investigation into certain states (notably, solely states with Democratic governors) that allowed transfers of sufferers from hospitals to nursing houses, you say these transfers “were almost certainly unwise.” Our research in Michigan and different states disputes this assertion.
Our evaluation reveals that Covid-19 sufferers not in want of hospital care will be safely transferred to nursing houses with the appropriate security protocols in place. The emphasis must be on guaranteeing sufficient coaching, P.P.E., staffing and a specialised Covid-19 unit, not on ending the follow.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
The author is director of the Center for Health and Research Transformation on the University of Michigan.
To the Editor:
As the editorial famous, nursing houses and assisted dwelling communities didn’t obtain the help wanted early in the pandemic. Though nursing houses look after one of essentially the most susceptible populations, the main target remained on hospitals. Lack of entry to private protecting tools and testing was a severe problem.
However, it’s notable that impartial research shows little correlation between outbreaks and high quality rating, possession construction or staffing ranges; as a substitute, outbreaks are tied to unfold of the virus in communities.
Longstanding staffing shortages and low Medicaid reimbursement charges have been compounded by the pandemic. Significant Covid-related prices have left many services on the brink of closure.
This is a historic problem, one we should proceed to confront collectively. Many of the problems the editorial recognized have been the main target of long-term care suppliers for years. We hope Congress will now work with us to deal with them.
The author is the president and chief government of American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living.