Jamie Hochman Herz is counsel to the Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. She says typically when a nursing facility wants to increase the cost of living, they must provide residents with 30 days notice.
“We also know that nursing homes, homes for the aged, adult foster care, and other non-licensed assisted living settings were not a priority for much needed PPE,” Pung told The Center Square in an email. “Several of those settings are still struggling to acquire adequate PPE to protect residents and staff from COVID-19.”
Some facilities have begun allowing visits, empowered by the discretion offered in guidance from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on June 30, said Alison Hirschel, director of the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative.
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.