With cases of COVID-19 increasing in many areas around the country, “many” hospitals are reporting difficulty in discharging patients to skilled nursing facilities or “facilities with lower-level care,” according to a report released Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.
The long-term facilities are requiring negative COVID-19 tests before accepting discharged patients, according to the report. “As such, patients who no longer required acute care were taking valuable bed space while waiting to be discharged,” the authors said. “One hospital reported a case in which a post-acute-care facility refused to take a patient unless the hospital sent them a week’s worth of masks for the patient and for the staff who would care for the patient, even though the patient was not positive for COVID-19. Delays in receiving test results contributed to delays in transferring patients to these lower level facilities and in freeing beds in the hospitals for incoming COVID-19 patients.”
The report is based on interviews conducted March 2 to 27 with frontline staff members at 323 hospitals across 46 states. The HHS OIG said it is the first nationwide, comprehensive information from hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis to inform the public of the support and resources that hospitals continue to need.
In other coronavirus-related news:
- Birmingham, MI-based Bloom Senior Living and Assurance Scientific Laboratories have partnered to provide all Bloom communities in Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio and South Carolina to with COVID-19 test kits. The operator said it can now “efficiently and safely test residents and associates inside our controlled environment as opposed to sending them to high-risk environments such as hospitals. This is a tremendous benefit to the Bloom community if the need arises.”
- The AARP on Monday announced new resources for family caregivers looking for additional support during the COVID-19 crisis. One is a tip sheet on how family caregivers can stay connected to their loved ones who are quarantined in senior living communities and nursing homes.
- Actor Matthew McConaughey; his wife, Camila; his mother, Kay; and other family members joined residents of The Enclave at Round Rock Senior Living to play virtual bingo, the Round Rock, TX, independent living and assisted living community posted on its Facebook page on Sunday. “Our residents had a great time playing, and they loved talking with Matthew about his family heritage and his favorite drink,” the community, part of Spectrum Retirement Communities, said. See the video below.