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Low staffing during pandemic harmed US nursing home residents, House panel says

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A special House panel investigating America's response to the coronavirus pandemic said it has found anecdotal evidence of understaffing at nursing homes that led to patient neglect and harm.

At a hearing Wednesday, the select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis plans to discuss some of its findings, including how large nursing home chains reacted to complaints from staff and families.

“Many nursing home facilities were severely understaffed during the early months of the pandemic, leading to deficient care, neglect, and negative health outcomes for residents,” the committee reported Wednesday in a news release in advance of the hearing.

President Biden earlier this year instructed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS] to develop minimum staffing standards for nursing homes. By highlighting problems during the pandemic, the House hearing on Wednesday increases pressure on nursing homes and the Biden administration as that work by CMS continues. The agency said recently it plans to study staffing levels through the winter.

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Source: The Washington Post, 21 September 2022

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