Anticipate minimum employment requirements for nursing homes next year


Good morning all. Here are some animal pictures To start your day (h/t The New York Times). As always, send news and tips our way: rachel.roubein@washpost.com.

Today’s version: The Senate Finance Committee It is issuing a draft of its legislation to support the mental health workforce. Updated booster shots for kids ages 5 and up can come in October. But first…

New report on nursing home damage could bolster case for staff-to-patient ratios

Federal health officials plan to propose minimum staffing levels for nursing homes by spring this year.

new The results of the Democratic staff For a House committee investigating the nation’s pandemic response could bolster the Biden administration’s position on policy that the powerful nursing home industry opposes. The commission released unconfirmed evidence yesterday alleging that the decline in the number of nursing home workers hurt the population as the coronavirus spread to facilities during the early months of the pandemic.

The Medicare and Medicaid Services Centers Other health experts say adequate staffing is linked to the quality of care residents receive. But the industry maintains that the demand for a certain number of employees per patient may reach a level “Unfunded State” With unintended consequences, it portends upcoming battles.

For years, nursing homes have been plagued by Staff shortage And the Well trust Infection control problems. But the issue came into the spotlight when the facilities became the epicenter of the spread of Covid, forcing lawmakers in Washington and beyond to respond.

More from yesterday’s hearing:

President Biden Pledge to take strict action at the country’s poorest nursing homes before his State of the Union address in March. He proposed a set of policies aimed at strengthening supervision of nursing homes and reducing the use of common rooms.

Tucked into the plan was a pledge to propose minimum staffing requirements within a year. But it will likely take longer before these regulations take effect, as it usually takes months for the federal government to sort out the comments and issue the final regulations.

Current rules require licensed nursing services 24 hours a day to be “sufficient” to meet the nursing needs of facility residents. This includes the services of registered nurses available for at least eight consecutive hours each day. These were the regulations Last revision in 1987.

Now, CMS – the agency that oversees nursing homes – is in the midst of figuring out how to strengthen the rules. The agency launched a study last month, expected to run into winter, to help guide its proposal. The effort includes visiting 75 nursing homes, reviewing existing research and estimating the cost of requirements for nursing homes.

The agency also requested feedback from the audience in the spring, and net 3000 replies From advocates, long-term care ombudsman, industry groups and more.

no surprise: Nursing home associations and consumer advocates had opposing views. The industry “expressed significant concern,” while advocacy groups and residents’ family members were “generally strongly supportive,” per CMS.

yesterday , The House of Representatives selects the Corona Virus Crisis Subcommittee Hotline texts released From complaints about nursing homes from March through June 2020, our colleague Christopher Rowland reports.

for example: One such complaint SavaSraduateCare It was alleged that a facility in Nevada had only one nurse covering two floors during early April 2020, and that at one point, a resident waited four hours to get water.

  • A spokesperson for the chain said that every complaint had been investigated and that many of the allegations were unfounded. “If the allegations are substantiated, in whole or in part, the compliance team has taken steps to ensure that corrective action is taken and monitored,” Annalis Empink wrote in a statement.

Highlighting issues during the pandemic is sure to increase pressure on the Biden administration to formulate proposed staffing levels, Christopher notes.

“My advice to them is to guard against unintended consequences,” David Grabowski, Expert in long-term care in Harvard Medical Schoolhe told Health 202.

Example: Grabowski wrote in an email that some states set staff minimums but did not distinguish between the type of staff that should be on site. This led to the replacement of nurses with certified nursing assistants.

But any such proposal would face the wrath of the nursing home lobby. The American Health Care Association, major trading group, has already come out swinging, arguing that “additional staffing requirements cannot be met when we cannot find people to fill vacancies or when we do not have the resources to compete with other employers.” She said the Democrats’ report focused on the early days of the pandemic, when facilities were asking for more aid from governments.

Senate Finance Committee Releases Draft Debate on Mental Health Workforce Strengthening Policies

New this morning: The Senate Finance Committee chest bipartisan project From its proposal aims to support the mental health workforce in the country, as the committee seeks to present A comprehensive package to address the mental health crisis in the country.

Below is a snapshot of what the file contains discussion project you will do:

  • Create Medicare coverage for marriage and family therapy services and mental health counselor services for the first time, making federal coverage compatible with most private insurance companies.
  • Expand Medicare’s Health Professional Deficiency Area Reward Program To allow more mental health providers to receive rewards when they practice in areas of deficiency, such as many rural communities.
  • Allow any country to get a planning grant and create a demonstration project where they can obtain additional federal funding for Medicaid to expand or improve the capacity of mental health and substance abuse providers in their state.
  • Other policies include Expand access to some clinical social worker services, add 400 new Medicare-funded places annually for psychiatric residencies in training hospitals, and require Medicaid to provide guidance to states on how to increase the mental health workforce.

The CDC expects an October rollout of updated boosters for children ages 5-11

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Expected to recommend Updated booster footage of coronavirus for children ages 5-11 from early to mid-October, pending permission from Food and Drug Administration.

The Biden administration has started putting up a file Re-equipped boosterstargeting both the original version and currently circulating variants of the virus, to people 12 and older earlier this month, hoping to get enough shots in Americans’ arms to ease the infection. Possible fall or winter increase.

There are two shots on the table. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) said the study under study is the divalent enhancers of Pfizer-Biwantech And the Moderna For children aged 5-11 years and 6-17 years, respectively. States are expected to be able to start pre-ordering shots from Pfizer starting Monday. However, the Moderna vaccine uses the same formula in adults as adults, albeit at a lower dose, and will not be available for pre-order because it is already in the field, according to the CDC.

It is still unclear how many parents will be looking for updated boosters for their young children. Joining the initial round of booster shots that federal regulators authorized for 5- to 11-year-olds back in May is now about to happen 14.5% — Lowest among all age groups eligible for the episode, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pfizer donates up to 6 million Paxlovid courses to the Global Fund

Pfizer announced this morning that will supply to me 6 million cycles From Paxlovid coronavirus treatment to Global FundThe Covid-19 Response Mechanism, which provides support to low- and middle-income countries to combat the virus.

the details: there will be 132 countries are eligible to receive the antiviral courses, which Pfizer expects to be available starting later this year, pending authorization or regulatory approval at the request of the country. The drug company said it would charge low-income countries a not-for-profit price for the treatment, but did not disclose a dollar amount.

Baxlovid has become a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19. The drug significantly reduces the likelihood of hospitalization or death for individuals at risk of developing severe illness from the virus. Pfizer’s announcement comes months after the company agreed to allow several drug companies to… Manufacture of generic versions of antivirals available to low and middle income countries for $25 per session or less.

Watchdog recommends that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) renew the EUA policy on testing

The Food and Drug AdministrationHis decision to repeatedly adjust Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) policies in the early days of the pandemic to meet the nation’s coronavirus testing needs led to quality control issues and ineffective testing in the US market, according to federal investigators. Concluded in a report yesterday.

review from Office of the Inspector General In the Department of Health and Human Services Focuses in part on the agency’s decision to accept all EUA applications, which resulted in a record number of applications that were often of low quality and from developers who lacked experience with FDA operations.

Better prepare for future infectious disease outbreaksOIOS recommended that the agency revise its guidelines for EUA test submission, expand and improve its resources for test developers, enhance its outreach to the laboratory community, and develop a national testing strategy that goes beyond the EUA process. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved all OIG recommendations.

More from OIG at HHS:

  • Made by CMS Additional resources available to Puerto Rico In response to Hurricane Fiona yesterday, which includes resilience for health care providers and an assessment of dialysis centers on the island.
  • A federal judge in Louisiana revoke authorization From the Biden administration yesterday that asked employees and children at Head Start facilities to wear face coverings. Last week, HHS announced that it plans to drop the requirement in the near future to align with current CDC guidelines, hill reports.
  • HHS chest the first National strategy to support family caregivers yesterday. The strategy It contains approximately 350 actions the federal government intends to take to help those who care for loved ones, as well as 150 recommendations that can be adopted at the state or local level.

A free medical clinic has opened in rural East Texas. Thousands are flocking to get help. Public Health Surveillance (by Kim Kreisberg and David Leffler | Public Health Surveillance)

‘This program really saved us’: As Canada introduces safer opioids to curb overdoses, will the US follow suit? (by Andrew Joseph | Stat)

Abortion rights lawyer vows as judge to follow US Supreme Court ruling (by Nate Raymond | Reuters)

Thanks for reading! Look at you all tomorrow.


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