Proposed Federal Guidelines Mandate Weekly COVID-19 Testing at Nursing Homes

Nursing homes across the United States face intense challenges from the effects of COVID-19. The fact that 42% of deaths from the virus are associated with nursing homes is alarming, especially when you consider these facilities relate to only 8% of all cases. Understaffing and litigation are becoming major problems. Proposed solutions include professional liability insurance coverage, federal funding, and weekly COVID-19 testing.

Federal Help for Nursing Homes

The Trump Administration requires weekly testing of staff and visitors for certain nursing homes, as announced July 22, 2020. This requirement applies to all nursing homes in states with COVID-19 positive results of 5% or more. The $5 billion funding plan is designed to limit the spread of the virus in nursing homes.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will play a role in this support by distributing rapid point-of-care testing instruments in areas with high infection rates. Accounting for testing margin of error, about 85% of tests will be effective in confirming infections.

Coronavirus Liability Concerns

Due to increasing liability concerns, nursing homes must protect themselves with professional liability insurance coverage. Lawsuits were already growing prior to the pandemic, due to various complaints about how nursing homes are managed. Social distancing over extended periods since the outbreak began has led to increased slip and fall cases, lawsuits over the inability to visit loved ones, and various other issues.

Michigan is currently working on legislation to keep seniors with COVID-19 out of nursing homes, as a third of all coronavirus deaths were tied to nursing homes. In Texas, there’s been a 60% increase in coronavirus infections related to nursing homes in the summer of 2020. Each state with expanding cases in nursing homes is working on its own solutions to mitigate this disaster.

Many nursing homes are in jeopardy of shutting down due to getting hit with lawsuits that cost $200,000 in legal fees. Nearly half of residents in America’s 1.6 million nursing homes experience a slip and fall incident each year.

American nursing homes are necessary for seniors but are facing enormous challenges due to COVID-19. The safest approach to avoid financial collapse is to get the appropriate insurance coverage. Setting COVID-19 testing guidelines that mandate weekly testing is another crucial step to reducing litigation and casualties. Contact the experts at CIA Insurance and Risk Management to learn more about how the proper coverage will help your organization overcome vulnerabilities.

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