August 18, 2020; Thomas Reuters Foundation
Even as the American Health Care Association and National Association for Assisted Living announced that another high has been reached in numbers of COVID cases in nursing homes across the nation, Mathematica Policy Research has just finished an investigation into nursing home deaths related to COVID-19, finding among other things that there were about 60 percent more cases and deaths per licensed bed in for-profit facilities than in nonprofit ones.
Altogether, more than 3,200 residents of Connecticut nursing homes and assisted living facilities have died from the pandemic. Meanwhile, the American Health Care Association has released a report showing that COVID-19 cases in nursing homes have surpassed the peak level of the pandemic from May, with the majority of recent cases occurring in the Sun Belt.
This report from Mathematica reinforces past research that that nonprofit nursing homes generally provide a better quality of care. The difference, furthermore, can often be traced in levels of staffing. This triangulates to another study that finds that outbreaks of COVID 19 in nursing homes can be traced to staffing issues, although it appears the occurrence of single cases may have been higher in nonprofits, perhaps because there were more people entering the facilities from outside.—Ruth McCambridge