Infection Control Funding

McKnight’s reported on the latest pandemic relief package. Half a billion dollars in funding will help nursing homes prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19 in their facilities. Infection control funds will support nursing home strike teams. Nursing homes have been petri dishes for infectious diseases. A Government Accountability Office report found 80 percent of nursing homes were cited for infection prevention failures before the pandemic.

Specifically, the measures call for $200 million for nursing homes to help with COVID-related infection control measures through Quality Improvement Organizations. Lawmakers also called for an allocation of $250 million for states to establish strike teams to respond to case surges.

The committee called for $188 million for the Elder Justice Act in either fiscal 2021 or 2022. The allocation “increases public health and social services to combat abuse, neglect, and exploitation of the elderly that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” they argued.

Due to chronic understaffing and mismanagement, nursing home residents suffer neglect and abuse in nursing homes. This is unacceptable in a rich developed country. Long-term care facilities must be held accountable when their wrongdoing threatens the health and lives of their residents and staff.