March 23, 2020

COVID-19 – Nursing Home Challenges

By Steve Lavenda, Partner, Advisory Services

Related Service Coronavirus Resource Center

Related Industry Healthcare

COVID-19 – Nursing Home Challenges Coronavirus Resource Center

While there are still many uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, it’s clear from the current news that the elderly are the most at risk.

Nursing homes may face many of the same challenges as other healthcare institutions, including a lack of staff and shortages of supplies such as protective gear and hand washing equipment, including soap and towels.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website… “Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions, may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. These people who may be at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness include:

  • Older Adults
  • People who have serious underlying medical conditions like:
    • Heart Disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung Disease

It stands to reason then that those living in facilities, such as nursing homes, with communal spaces are at risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 due to being in such close contact with others. Those with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or a history of smoking are more likely to have serious complications from COVID-19.

Accordingly, the CDC has provided guidance to nursing homes on its website to assess and improve upon their readiness to respond to the COVID-19 disease. Read the CDC preparedness checklist and the latest guidelines for visitation and communal activities.

All in all, the next number of months are going to be a challenge for all types of business, but especially for the long-term care industry, which even pre-COVID-19 was facing staffing shortages, low reimbursement and dwindling occupancy.

We at Marcum will continue to provide information as it becomes available.

Now a on a personal note: this past week, one of Marcum’s clients in the long-term care industry was in the news when it was determined that many residents and workers tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Within a day or two of the situation becoming public, the chief operating officer of another nursing home chain (a non-client) located more than 100 miles away from the infected facility, contacted me to offer his and his company’s assistance to the nursing home in distress. With the permission of the chief operating officer of the organization which manages the nursing home in the news, I put them in touch with each other.

While I do not know whether any assistance was ultimately provided, the offer of assistance from an individual and an organization a long distance away – a competitor, in fact – to a group with which they had no prior relationship, gives me some hope that we, as a country, are going to come out of this crisis stronger than ever.

Coronavirus Resource Center

Have more questions about the impact of the coronavirus on your business? Visit Marcum’s Coronavirus Resource Center for up-to-date information.