By Laura Karas
Immunity from liability disincentivizes nursing homes from expending the time, money, effort, and resources needed to keep residents safe.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the stakes of the issue: granting legal immunity to nursing homes for COVID-related care is tantamount to leaving our most vulnerable out on the street corner.
According to data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, there have been over 216,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 53,000 COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents. These figures are likely underestimates, as nursing homes have had to adjust to federal reporting guidelines. Recent data indicate that deaths in nursing homes are on the rise in states with COVID-19 resurgences.
Kimberly Hall North in Windsor, Connecticut, was one of many nursing homes ravaged by COVID-19. Reports in June of this year cited 47 deaths among its 138 residents, a death toll exceeding one-third of the nursing home’s resident population.