LAMB AND DOYLE CALL FOR INCREASED FEDERAL INSPECTIONS OF SENIOR CARE FACILITIES
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Representatives Conor Lamb (PA-17) and Mike Doyle (PA-18) sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) urging them to immediately increase the frequency of inspections of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, especially for those facilities already on provisional licenses or facilities handling COVID-19 outbreaks.
"The coronavirus is having a devastating impact on our senior community and their families," said Lamb. "Nowhere has that impact been felt more painfully than at the Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Beaver County. The current CMS inspection cycle of 9-15 months is inadequate to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19. We need to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect our seniors, including increasing the frequency and intensity of inspections."
"Seniors are the group most at risk from the coronavirus, and senior care facilities have proven to be places where COVID-19 can spread rapidly," Doyle observed. "The Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center provides a terrible example in our region of the need to do better at protecting the health of residents in such facilities. I believe that more frequent inspections – along with additional resources for testing, treatment, and personal protective equipment – would go a long way towards ensuring that senior care facilities live up to their responsibilities to protect their residents from deadly threats like COVID-19."
In addition to sending this letter to CMS, Lamb and Doyle have also joined many of their colleagues in advocating for additional protections for seniors. On April 15, they joined more than 70 Members of Congress in a letter calling for the Department of Health and Human Services and CMS to collect and publicly report facility-level data on the number of long-term care residents affected by COVID-19, including cases and fatalities. On May 4, Lamb and Doyle joined with other Members of Congress to request that a portion of the $25 billion emergency funding appropriated by Congress as part of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act be allocated to states specifically for the development, purchase, administration, or provision of COVID-19 diagnostic tests for long-term care facilities.
Click here to view a copy of the Lamb/Doyle letter to CMS.