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Relaxed Oversight May Lead to Spread of Coronavirus in New Hampshire Nursing Homes

March 26, 2020

According to a recent New York Times article, the Trump administration proposed loosening regulations that govern nursing homes. Many of the federal regulations at issue are designed to control the spread of deadly infections, such as COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus. New Hampshire nursing homes and assisted living facilities provide a variety of medical and personal care services to individuals who cannot manage their health and safety. Although many long-term care facilities (LTCF’s) fail to provide complete and accurate information, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1 to 3 million serious infections occur every year at these facilities. Infections often include deadly staph infections, gastrointestinal diseases, and urinary tract infections. These infections are the leading cause of hospitalization and death in the United States.

Years before coronavirus began ravaging the country’s nursing homes, LTCF’s were struggling to abide by the CDC’s necessary infection prevention regulations. These crucial regulations are critical in preventing the spread of viruses and bacteria commonly found at these facilities. The CDC provides that staff and visitors at these facilities exhibit good infection and control techniques. These techniques include washing hands before and after touching residents, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, removing soiled textiles quickly and safely, and wearing personal protective equipment. Further, residents can take steps to prevent the spread of disease by thoroughly cleaning their hands before eating and use the restroom, ensuring that wounds are covered with bandages, covering their mouths with their elbows when sneezing or coughing, taking medication as prescribed, and following isolation directions.

Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services established increasingly stringent guidance for LTCFs. They are advising inspectors to investigate whether employees were following safety precautions thoroughly. However, this comes after the Trump administration’s proposal to relax nursing home rules. Although the relaxed rules may save the nursing home industry millions of dollars a year, the consequences can be dire and potentially fatal. These relaxed rules result in lower fines for LTCFs who violate safety rules.

Despite contradictory advice, LTCFs must take hardline measures to prevent the spread of disease and infection in their facilities. Failing to do so will only give rise to new, possibly antibiotic-resistant, infections. Individuals who witness an LTCF engaging in unsafe practices should contact authorities to report these behaviors. Further, those who believe that their loved ones suffered illness or death because of unsafe New Hampshire nursing home practices should contact an attorney to discuss their situation.

Speak to a New Hampshire Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney for Immediate Assistance

If you or your loved one needs assistance with a nursing home neglect or abuse case, you should contact the experienced attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates. The attorneys at our law firm have assisted countless families in lawsuits against negligent long-term care facilities. Cases involving New Hampshire nursing homes are often complicated, and individuals may face difficulties meeting their burdens of proof, primarily because of the inconsistent rules and regulations governing these entities. Our attorneys have successfully represented and recovered compensation on behalf of injury victims, including those who have been injured in New Hampshire car accidents and slip and falls. Contact our office at 800-804-2004 to schedule your free initial consultation with an attorney.