Time and again we see ample evidence proving that the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked unfathomable damage on nursing home residents and staff. And as of September 2022, we have even more substantiated evidence of widespread neglect, staffing shortages, and more. In the past few days, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis published some of their findings while investigating for-profit nursing home actions, policies, and conditions from the start of the pandemic to today.
The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, chaired by Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, has been investigating for-profit nursing homes in an attempt to understand everything that took place in those facilities in the early weeks and months of the pandemic. This investigation will hopefully root out wrongdoings and pave the way for improved care across the country.
The official investigation looks at five for-profit nursing home chains which own more than 850 skilled nursing facilities and were charged with the care of over 80,000 residents when the pandemic started.
- Understaffing. Many reports have come out regarding the chronic understaffing in nursing homes and how it affects the residents. The most recent numbers seen from some of the largest nursing home companies is that there was 1 nurse per 38 residents. As a result, complaints of neglect increased as families noticed a decrease in attention to critical needs like toileting, changing, and receiving food and water.
- Denied sick time. Partially due to general staffing shortages, and partially due to a lack of clear and comprehensive policies in the face of the pandemic, many nursing home staff members were required to work, despite their symptoms. There are multiple reports of employees being told to work despite symptoms of COVID, and even being threatened with termination if they didn’t report to work. Additionally, there were reports of employees being denied sick leave to quarantine (according to CDC guidelines at the time).
- Corporate entities. Beyond the staffing issues, neglect, and mishandling of sick days, it was found that for-profit nursing home parent companies were utilizing intermediate corporate entities to bury profit information, muddy the waters of ownership, and create a convoluted system that results in a complete lack of financial transparency.
To read more about the subcommittee’s findings, read the full press release.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of neglect or abuse, call Gharibian Law (877-875-1119) today for a free consultation and the best legal representation.