AARP Releases COVID-19 Nursing Home Dashboard

Posted on 10/15/20 by Tom Lacock

Nursing home staff and resident

The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, causing the deaths of more than 84,000 residents and staff, according to an Oct. 8 analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation—including seven in Wyoming. 

Using data collected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—which is self-reported by nursing homes—the AARP Public Policy Institute, in collaboration with the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio, created the AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard to provide four-week snapshots of the virus’ infiltration into nursing homes and impact on nursing home residents and staff. 

To see Wyoming’s state-specific dashboard for the four weeks ending Sept. 20, click here. 

Notably, the first release of the dashboard on October 14 reveals that nursing homes in every state reported shortages of PPE, ranging from 8% of facilities in the best-performing states, to 60% in the lowest-performing state. The dashboard also compared state and national data on COVID-19 cases and deaths, staff cases and staffing shortages.

In Wyoming, the data suggests 29.4 percent of skilled nursing homes are lacking a one-week supply of personal protective equipment. For the four weeks ending Sept. 20, the percentage of nursing facilities in Wyoming which staff did not have a one week supply of N95 masks was over 20 percent. Nursing homes also noted staffing shortages with nurses aides being the biggest deficit. The state’s 29.4 percent staff shortage rate is nearly on-par with the national average.

In the four weeks ending September 20 one-quarter (24%) of nursing homes nationwide had at least one confirmed COVID-19 case among residents, and twice as many (48%) had at least one confirmed staff case. Wyoming’s number of cases were far below that number over the same period of time with no deaths reported. Over the four-week period ending Sept. 20, per 100 nursing home residents, there were 2.6 COVID-19 resident cases and 2.5 staff cases, corresponding to a total of about 55,000 cases nationally. Wyoming’s staff case rate was .5 per 100 residents.

“Thankfully, Wyoming hasn't experienced some of the very high infection and death rates other states seen, that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods.”  says AARP Wyoming State Director Sam Shumway. “AARP will use this dashboard to shine a light on what’s happening in nursing homes so that families have the information they need to make decisions, and lawmakers can be held accountable.”

AARP has called for the enactment of a 5-point plan to protect nursing home and long-term care facility residents—and save lives—at the federal and state levels:

  • Prioritize regular and ongoing testing and adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for residents and staff—as well as inspectors and any visitors.
  •  Improve transparency focused on daily, public reporting of cases and deaths in facilities; communication with families about discharges and transfers; and accountability for state and federal funding that goes to facilities.
  • Require access to facilitated virtual visitation, and establish timelines, milestones, and accountability for facilities to provide in-person visitation.
  • Ensure quality care for residents through adequate staffing, oversight, and access to in-person formal advocates, called long-term care Ombudsmen.
  • Reject immunity from liability for long-term care facilities related to COVID-19.

For more resources and information on COVID-19 and nursing homes can be found at aarp.org/nursinghomes

 About AARP:

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

This story is provided by AARP Wyoming. Visit the AARP Wyoming page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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You can find CDC’s latest coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

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