National leaders are launching an investigation into nursing homes and how they are handling the coronavirus crisis, specifically asking how they spent federal funds during the pandemic and their efforts to prevent further infections.
Letters seeking information were sent to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that oversees nursing homes, as well as the five largest for-profit nursing home companies in the country. Read the letter sent to CMS here.
“The Subcommittee is concerned that lax oversight by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the federal government’s failure to provide testing supplies and personal protective equipment to nursing homes and long-term care facilities may have contributed to the spread of the coronavirus and the deaths of more than 40,000 Americans in these facilities,” wrote Representative James E. Clyburn, the chairman of the committee.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma responded to the letter on social media, linking to updated nursing home data. Click here to see the latest information.
— Administrator Seema Verma (@SeemaCMS) June 18, 2020
The following five companies also received letters:
Several states have reported spikes of coronavirus cases at nursing homes and senior care facilities, including Hawaii, Colorado, and Maryland. The New York Times reported in mid-April about concerns nationwide about nursing home deaths.
On June 11, the committee heard from families with loved ones at nursing homes, as well as from facility staff and others connected to the industry. “At the Subcommittee’s briefing, participants also described how business practices at many long-term care facilities, including understaffing, low pay, and lack of paid leave for workers, contribute to this crisis,” Rep. Clyburn wrote.