A preliminary analysis of data released Wednesday on the incidence of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes finds more cases per capita in for-profit facilities compared with nonprofit or public homes.
The report, conducted by three public administration and policy experts at American University, has to date looked at homes in Illinois, Nevada, Colorado, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Oregon. Their research shows that government inspection of for-profit homes found nine violations in an average regulatory inspection cycle, compared with 6.4 at nonprofit homes and 6.8 at government homes. These trends have largely remained constant during the past two decades.
“While it is too early to draw firm conclusions, it appears likely that fewer regulatory violations will correlate with success in managing the outbreak,” the authors said.
In addition to operating status, their research also suggests that a state’s degree of government regulation and the quality of the facility’s management also play a large role in determining how well a nursing home responds to a disease outbreak. A previous study by the authors, for example, found that more stringent regulation leads to better care quality.
Without a doubt, many for-profit facilities have been able to keep residents and workers safe from COVID-19, experts note. That’s why it continues to be essential for more states that are not currently sharing data on COVID-19 cases and deaths in nursing homes begin doing so, the authors note.
The need to share information is a sentiment shared by Brian Jurutka, CEO of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care. He noted that increasing the amount of public information and data on COVID-19 in long-term care facilities will improve trust in the public eye, while simultaneously helping efforts to control the spread of this deadly virus
“Accurate, consistent, and timely data with broad reach can help families, policymakers, health officials, and senior living operators understand and combat the virus – and be better prepared in the future,” Jurutka said in a recent NIC blog post. “With the nation looking on, it is time to demonstrate a willingness to be transparent, and to share data that will help track and combat COVID-19 across each property type and care segment.”
This article appeared in the McKnight’s Business Daily, a joint effort of McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.