Consumer Voice and Other Advocates Oppose Immunity for Long-Term Care Facilities; New Issue Brief Available
Since it became clear that the COVID-19 pandemic was going to have its most devastating impact on residents of long-term care facility residents, the long-term care industry has been seeking to not be held accountable for negligent care that harms residents during the pandemic. First on the state level, and now in Congress, the industry has petitioned governors and legislators to remove both civil and criminal liability for its substandard care that harms residents. The Consumer Voice along with other resident advocates oppose immunity for facilities, as it removes necessary protections for residents, and will result in the further harm to residents. This issue brief, created by the Coalition for the Protection of Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities makes clear that immunity for long-term care facilities:
- Rewards bad actors, who for years have cut staff and quality care in order to maximize profits.
- Removes one of the last remaining oversight protections for residents.
- Places workers and communities at risk.
- Removes incentives for facilities to comply with laws and regulations.
- Perpetuates racial disparities in health care.
Importantly, long-term care facilities that adhered to standards of care and made good faith efforts to obtain necessary staff and infection control supplies are already protected from liability in court. Immunity laws are about excusing negligent care and allowing harm to residents to go unaddressed, and not about protecting facilities that acted in good faith. We must send a message to our governors, state legislators, and Congress that we need more protections for residents of long-term care facilities, not less. Their lives depend on it.
Materials Available from Webinar on Relationship Between COVID-19 and Nursing Home Staffing
Consumers have long believed that adequate numbers of well trained staff are essential to quality of care and quality of life. Their advocacy has focused for many years on a staffing standard and the importance of RN coverage. Sadly, COVID-19 has shown the disparities between facilities in alarming ways, and the factors in COVID-19's spread are being examined by researchers. Two studies by Dr. Charlene Harrington and Dr. Yue Li look carefully at the relationship between staffing and COVID-19 spread. The research findings also address the importance of RN staffing and point out racial disparities in nursing home care.
Materials are available from last week's webinar in which Dr. Harrington and Dr. Yi explained their recent findings and what they tell us about COVID-19, facilities and residents. Discussion included how these findings can be applied to consumer advocacy on the state and national level. The importance of additional consumer driven research was highlighted. Get webinar materials including links to research »
New Training on Decision-Making Supports and Guardianship
The National Center for State Courts and the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging have created a new training - Finding the Right Fit: Decision-Making Supports and Guardianship. The training is designed to assist individuals in exploring ways to help someone who may need assistance in making decisions with informal supports, legal options, and/or adult guardianship. Finding the Right Fit provides a broad overview of decision-making supports and guardianship that is not specific to state laws or rules. The goal of the training is to provide information and guidance on finding the right kind of supports for someone’s needs. See the training »