There is both an opportunity and an imperative to redesign the next Scorecard. This tool has the potential to draw further attention to critical issues in LTSS exposed by the COVID-19 crisis and help states build and maintain momentum in their efforts to modernize their LTSS systems.
The Build Back Better Act that recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and is under consideration in the U.S. Senate includes several sections that could drive improvement in nursing home staffing and ultimately resident care and safety.
As facilities use the lessons learned to put in place policies and programs to continue delivering COVID-19 vaccines, they also should evaluate the quality and effectiveness of their influenza and pneumococcal immunization programs.
Facilities are beginning to innovate and put in place best practices to drive down the number of COVID-19 cases among residents and staff.
The pandemic has changed the way we think of long-term care, and if we lean into the crisis-earned set of lessons learned, we can do more than just tweak the system. We can transform it.
Now that we are reaching a point where the U.S. has an adequate supply of COVID-19 vaccines, officials must consider how to identify and reach older adults who remain unvaccinated, particularly those who want but have been unable to access a vaccine.
Presumptive eligibility expands consumer choice and can empower consumers to access public funded home and community-based services without lengthy determination delays.
While the deployment of vaccines in nursing homes has largely been a success thus far, facilities are far from finishing this task. They must now enter a next phase of vaccination and confront a new set of issues.
In the four weeks from October 19 to November 15, the number of deaths increased by two-thirds, and the number of new cases doubled compared to the previous four weeks.
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