Alison Hirschel, managing attorney for the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative, says she’s heard that workers and management at some facilities are not following these rules and acting as though COVID-19 were no longer a threat.
In a Tuesday hearing that examined Lucido’s bill, he and other committee members heard testimony from Alison Hirschel, who’s managing attorney at the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative.
She said that while the folks at her organization are “deeply appreciative of the Legislature’s concern for nursing home residents,” they can’t support the bill without more information about how these new facilities would be staffed, and how frail residents would be protected during the potentially traumatic transfer from one facility to another.
In an email to Bridge, Salli Pung, Michigan’s long-term care ombudsman, said that the size of a facility, chain or non-profit ownership, previous Medicare ratings and payment sources for care did not distinguish nursing homes with COVID-19 from those without it. In other words, broadly speaking, big facilities with large Medicaid populations, 5-star ratings from Medicare and chain ownership fared roughly the same against the virus as others.
Many nursing homes have had more difficulty than usual finding and retaining staff members during the COVID-19 crisis, according to State Long Term Care Ombudsman Salli Pung, who hears many concerns from residents, family, and staff statewide.
Sally Pung, the state ombudsman for long term care, fears the isolation is literally killing people, saying she’s hearing from some of the state’s larger guardianship organizations that nursing-home deaths are up, not just from COVID-19 but because “some of the residents have just given up.” Read article
The task force will be comprised Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon or his designee, Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director Orlene Hawks, the state long-term care Ombudsman Salli Pung or her designee, two Whitmer appointees each from the state House and Senate and 13 more Whitmer appointees with “personal or professional interest in the health, safety, and welfare