Surveyors Citing More Nursing Homes for Limiting Visitors
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, a new analysis reveals that the number of nursing homes cited for limiting visitors in the past year soared in the most recent cycle. While the number of F-563 tags given in the last cycle is still relatively low at 200, the increase from 57 and 17 in the two previous cycles, respectively, reflects the change. Providers must balance their efforts to protect the physical health of their patients as they try to avoid isolating them as well. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says that nursing homes must allow visitation for residents "at all times." But some states have set policies that refuse to admit nursing home visitors who are unvaccinated or who cannot provide a negative COVID-19 test. The StarPRO analysis found that North Carolina had the most visitation rights tags (20) in surveys of 426 homes. Wyoming had only three such tags, but the number of surveys conducted statewide was much lower at 36. "This is really more a function of COVID and people losing patience with the policies that are in place," said Spencer Blackman, director of product and partner at StarPRO. "Especially with a new variant coming out, access that may have been given before is all of a sudden shut off. People get frustrated and can't see their loved ones." While consumer groups have voiced opposition to new visitor restrictions in place at some facilities, several states have adopted stricter rules about access as the Omicron variant spread rapidly around the country.
Read more on McKnight's Long-Term Care News.