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1.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 23(6): 962-967.e2, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783454

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To identify the perceptions of physicians with expertise in nursing home care on the value of physicians who primarily practice in nursing homes, often referred to as "SNFists," with the goal of enriching our understanding of specialization in nursing home care. DESIGN: Qualitative analysis of semistructured interviews. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Virtual interviews conducted January 18-29, 2021. Participants included 35 physicians across the United States, who currently or previously served as medical directors or attending physicians in nursing homes. METHODS: Interviews were conducted virtually on Zoom and professionally transcribed. Outcomes were themes resulting from thematic analysis. RESULTS: Participants had a mean 19.5 (SD = 11.3) years of experience working in nursing homes; 17 (48.6%) were female; the most common medical specializations were geriatrics (18; 51.4%), family medicine (8; 22.9%), internal medicine (7; 20.0%), physiatry (1; 2.9%), and pulmonology (1; 2.9%). Ten (28.6%) participants were SNFists. We identified 6 themes emphasized by participants: (1) An unclear definition and loose qualifications for SNFists may affect the quality of care; (2) Specific competencies are needed to be a "good SNFist"; (3) SNFists are distinguished by their unique practice approach and often provide services that are unbillable or underreimbursed; (4) SNFists achieve better outcomes, but opinions varied on performance measures; (5) SNFists may contribute to discontinuity of care; (6) SNFists remained in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: There is a strong consensus among physicians with expertise in nursing home care that SNFists provide higher quality care for residents than other physicians. However, a uniform definition of a SNFist based on competencies in addition to standardized performance measures are needed. Unbillable and underreimbursed services create disincentives to physicians becoming SNFists. Policy makers may consider modifying Medicare reimbursements to incentivize more physicians to specialize in nursing home care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physicians , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Medicare , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , United States
2.
J Am Geriatr Soc ; 70(2): 512-521, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480180

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To describe the growth and characteristics of the direct care health workforce, encompassing home health aides, personal care aides, nursing assistants, and orderlies and psychiatric aides from 2010 to 2019 in the United States. METHODS: Using nationally representative data from the 2010 to 2019 American Community Survey, we described the growth in the direct care health workforce overall and by type of direct care health worker. In addition, we examined the distribution of direct care workers by geographic region of the country, age categories, citizenship, world area of birth, income, health insurance status, and other characteristics. RESULTS: From 2010 to 2019, the number of direct care health workers in the United States per 10,000 individuals decreased slightly from 135.81 in 2010 to 133.78 in 2019. Personal care aides made up 42.1% of the direct care health workforce in 2019, followed by nursing assistants (39.5%) and home health aides (16.3%). In 2019, the number of direct care health workers who were not U.S. citizens accounted for roughly 10% of all workers in each year. The relative percentage of direct care health workers that were not a citizen of the United States was highest among home health aides (16.3%). Among workers born outside of the United States, the majority were from Latin America, followed by Asia. CONCLUSION: From 2010 to 2019, there was little growth in the direct care health workforce despite growing demand for direct care health workers. In the midst of the current and projected shortage of direct care health workers-particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, longer-term solutions to improve retention of direct care health workers and increase the supply of direct care health workers may be needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Workforce , Adult , Female , Health Workforce/statistics & numerical data , Health Workforce/trends , Home Health Aides/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Long-Term Care , Male , Nursing Assistants/statistics & numerical data , Psychiatric Aides/statistics & numerical data , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States
4.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 22(5): 960-965.e1, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1077991

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To measure the association between nursing home (NH) characteristics and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) prevalence among NH staff. DESIGN: Retrospective cross-sectional study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 database for US NHs between March and August 2020, linked to NH facility characteristics (LTCFocus database) and local COVID-19 prevalence (USA Facts). METHODS: We estimated the associations between NH characteristics, local infection rates, and other regional characteristics and COVID-19 cases among NH staff (nursing staff, clinical staff, aides, and other facility personnel) measured per 100 beds, controlling for the hospital referral regions in which NHs were located to account for local infection control practices and other unobserved characteristics. RESULTS: Of the 11,858 NHs in our sample, 78.6% reported at least 1 staff case of COVID-19. After accounting for local COVID-19 prevalence, NHs in the highest quartile of confirmed resident cases (413.5 to 920.0 cases per 1000 residents) reported 18.9 more staff cases per 100 beds compared with NHs that had no resident cases. Large NHs (150 or more beds) reported 2.6 fewer staff cases per 100 beds compared with small NHs (<50 beds) and for-profit NHs reported 0.8 fewer staff cases per 100 beds compared with nonprofit NHs. Higher occupancy and more direct-care hours per day were associated with more staff cases (0.4 more cases per 100 beds for a 10% increase in occupancy, and 0.7 more cases per 100 beds for an increase in direct-care staffing of 1 hour per resident day, respectively). Estimates associated with resident demographics, payer mix, or regional socioeconomic characteristics were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: These findings highlight the urgent need to support facilities with emergency resources such as back-up staff and protocols to reduce resident density within the facility, which may help stem outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Nursing Homes , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
5.
JAMA Netw Open ; 3(10): e2026702, 2020 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-893185

ABSTRACT

Importance: It is not known whether nursing homes with private equity (PE) ownership have performed better or worse than other nursing homes during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Objective: To evaluate the comparative performance of PE-owned nursing homes on COVID-19 outcomes. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study of 11 470 US nursing homes used the Nursing Home COVID-19 Public File from May 17, 2020, to July 2, 2020, to compare outcomes of PE-owned nursing homes with for-profit, nonprofit, and government-owned homes, adjusting for facility characteristics. Exposure: Nursing home ownership status. Main Outcomes and Measures: Self-reported number of COVID-19 cases and deaths and deaths by any cause per 1000 residents; possessing 1-week supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE); staffing shortages. Results: Of 11 470 nursing homes, 7793 (67.9%) were for-profit; 2523 (22.0%), nonprofit; 511 (5.3%), government-owned; and 543 (4.7%), PE-owned; with mean (SD) COVID-19 cases per 1000 residents of 88.3 [2.1], 67.0 [3.8], 39.8 [7.6] and 110.8 [8.1], respectively. Mean (SD) COVID-19 deaths per 1000 residents were 61.9 [1.6], 66.4 [3.0], 56.2 [7.3], and 78.9 [5.9], respectively; mean deaths by any cause per 1000 residents were 78.1 [1.3], 91.5 [2.2], 67.6 [4.5], and 87.9 [4.8], respectively. In adjusted analyses, government-owned homes had 35.5 (95% CI, -69.2 to -1.8; P = .03) fewer COVID-19 cases per 1000 residents than PE-owned nursing homes. Cases in PE-owned nursing homes were not statistically different compared with for-profit and nonprofit facilities; nor were there statistically significant differences in COVID-19 deaths or deaths by any cause between PE-owned nursing homes and for-profit, nonprofit, and government-owned facilities. For-profit, nonprofit, and government-owned nursing homes were 10.5% (9.1 percentage points; 95% CI, 1.8 to 16.3 percentage points; P = .006), 15.0% (13.0 percentage points; 95% CI, 5.5 to 20.6 percentage points; P < .001), and 17.0% (14.8 percentage points; 95% CI, 6.5 to 23.0 percentage points; P < .001), respectively, more likely to have at least a 1-week supply of N95 masks than PE-owned nursing homes. They were 24.3% (21.3 percentage points; 95% CI, 11.8 to 30.8 percentage points; P < .001), 30.7% (27.0 percentage points; 95% CI, 17.7 to 36.2 percentage points; P < .001), and 29.2% (25.7 percentage points; 95% CI, 16.1 to 35.3 percentage points; P < .001) more likely to have a 1-week supply of medical gowns than PE-owned nursing homes. Government nursing homes were more likely to have a shortage of nurses (6.9 percentage points; 95% CI, 0.0 to 13.9 percentage points; P = .049) than PE-owned nursing homes. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study, PE-owned nursing homes performed comparably on staffing levels, resident cases, and deaths with nursing homes with other types of ownership, although their shortages of PPE may warrant monitoring.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Health Facilities, Proprietary , Investments , Nursing Homes , Ownership , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Quality of Health Care , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Equipment and Supplies , Government , Homes for the Aged , Humans , Nurses , Personal Protective Equipment , Personnel Management , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Private Sector , Public Sector , SARS-CoV-2 , Skilled Nursing Facilities
6.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 21(9): 1186-1190, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-625907

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected residents and staff at long-term care (LTC) and other residential facilities in the United States. The high morbidity and mortality at these facilities has been attributed to a combination of a particularly vulnerable population and a lack of resources to mitigate the risk. During the first wave of the pandemic, the federal and state governments received urgent calls for help from LTC and residential care facilities; between March and early June of 2020, policymakers responded with dozens of regulatory and policy changes. In this article, we provide an overview of these responses by first summarizing federal regulatory changes and then reviewing state-level executive orders. The policy and regulatory changes implemented at the federal and state levels can be categorized into the following 4 classes: (1) preventing virus transmission, which includes policies relating to visitation restrictions, personal protective equipment guidance, and testing requirements; (2) expanding facilities' capacities, which includes both the expansion of physical space for isolation purposes and the expansion of workforce to combat COVID-19; (3) relaxing administrative requirements, which includes measures enacted to shift the attention of caretakers and administrators from administrative requirements to residents' care; and (4) reporting COVID-19 data, which includes the reporting of cases and deaths to residents, families, and administrative bodies (such as state health departments). These policies represent a snapshot of the initial efforts to mitigate damage inflicted by the pandemic. Looking ahead, empirical evaluation of the consequences of these policies-including potential unintended effects-is urgently needed. The recent availability of publicly reported COVID-19 LTC data can be used to inform the development of evidence-based regulations, though there are concerns of reporting inaccuracies. Importantly, these data should also be used to systematically identify hot spots and help direct resources to struggling facilities.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Residential Facilities/legislation & jurisprudence , Residential Facilities/organization & administration , Assisted Living Facilities/organization & administration , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Federal Government , Government Programs/organization & administration , Humans , Long-Term Care/legislation & jurisprudence , Nursing Homes/organization & administration , Quality of Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
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