Gov. Cuomo has consistently upheld the nursing home order of his administration to recognise COVID-19 patients as the result of federal “guidance,” even though one of those government documents states only that the facilities “can” be admitted to contaminated seniors.
In comparison, the since-rescinded March 25 memo from the Health Department left no wiggle room to keep “medically stable” patients from being moved to nursing homes from hospitals.
“During this global health emergency, all NHs must comply with the expedited receipt of residents returning from hospitals to NHs,” the state directive said.
And if there were any questions as to what that meant, the following sentence was emphasised: “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH solely on the basis of a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 diagnosis.”
But there is a Q&A on that very subject in a March 13 memo from the US Center for Medicare and Medicaid Programs, which the Health Department has cited as justification for its order.
When does a nursing home consider a hospital-based patient who was diagnosed with COVID-19? “That says.
“A nursing home can accept a resident diagnosed with COVID-19 and still under transmission-based Precautions for COVID-19 as long as the facility can follow CDC guidance for Transmission-Based Precautions. If a nursing home cannot, it must wait until these precautions are discontinued.”
Three health-care industry groups: AMDA-The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Medicine, the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, instantly fired the DOH order, which cited a “urgent need to expand hospital capacity.” The organisations said in a statement on March 29 that they were “deeply concerned” with the underlined section of the directive.
The Post was also told by a former federal Health and Human Services official that it was a likely catastrophe formula.
During Friday’s news conference, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, who released the March 25 order, cited the March 13 guidelines from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
He inexplicably quoted a portion saying, “Nursing homes should admit any people they would normally admit to their facility, including people from hospitals where there was/is a case of COV-ID-19.” Zucker went on to refer to the portion that says that nursing homes “can” accept infected patients, noting that it was “very important” to follow “transmission-based precautions.”