A CLOSER LOOK: COVID-19 nursing home deaths; visitor reopening plan

A Closer Look

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — More than 100 nursing home residents in Arkansas have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic was declared on March 11, 2020, by the World Health Organization.

As of June 30, the Arkansas Department of Health’s Nursing Homes and Congregate Settings report had 736 total positive nursing home/assisted living facility residents, 271 recovered and 101 died. There were 479 positive healthcare workers, 183 have recovered and one died.

The state has 227 nursing homes according to the website Nursing Home Compare.

Two nursing homes with the most virus-related deaths still have active COVID-19 cases. Waters of White Hall in Jefferson County has 16 deaths and The Lakes at Maumelle H&R in Pulaski County has 13 deaths.

WATERS OF WHITE HALL: The for-profit agency has 120 certified beds and has had 35 deficiencies since June 2017, but has never been monetarily penalized. The most recent inspection by the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services noted the following deficiencies in April 2019:

  • Failed to meet nutritional meal requests, for example, based on religious preferences, being a vegetarian, or no dairy.
  • Failure to provide a replacement wheelchair for mobility.
  • Failed to make “call lights” within reach to allow residents to call for assistance from staff.
  • Failed to create a baseline care plan for a resident’s most immediate needs within 48 hours of being admitted.
  • A resident was found on the floor after sliding out of a wheelchair and trying to scoot to get to a chair.
  • Pest control program seemed deficient; two dead roaches were found in an area where glasses and cups were stored. A roach was crawling on the counter where a dietary employee was toasting bread to be served to the residents for lunch.

THE LAKES AT MAUMELLE H&R: The for-profit facility has 70 beds, and 55 beds were in use at the time of the most recent citation, August 5, 2019. There were eight total deficiencies between June 2017 through September 2018. The Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services noted the following deficiencies:

  • Ripped/stained bed linens for two residents.
  • Dietary staff failed to completely cover their hair in a hairnet, impacting all residents.
  • In the kitchen area, several food cans were dented, bread was dated 7/19/19 and had mold, an industrial can opener had black matter built on the cutting area, white milky substance dripped from the bottom of a blender into pureed steak on at least five occasions, and staff repeatedly needed to wash their hands after touching contaminated objects.
  • Failed to properly contain the trash in order to minimize foul odors and potential for pest infestations.

Both agency’s citation averages fall below the state and national average, 9.6 and 8.3, respectively, according to a government website.

GOV. HUTCHINSON: REOPENING NURSING HOMES

Visitors will be allowed at nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities as long as the facility has been COVID-19 free for at least 28 days, according to Governor Hutchinson.

SOME ADDITIONAL VISITATION RULES:

  • Visitors must not have signs or symptoms of COVID-19 for at least 3 days. If any visitor previously tested positive for COVID-19, they must not visit within 14 days of a positive test. 
  • Visitors must wear a mask at all times. 
  • Visitors must sanitize hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or by handwashing with soap and water when entering and exiting. 
  • Visitors cannot eat during the visit. 
  • Visitors must schedule visits in advance. 
  • Visitation will only be allowed during select hours of each day. 
  • Visitation will be limited to two visitors per one resident at a time. 
  • The facility must monitor all visits carefully to ensure that masks are worn and visitation policies are followed. 

The ADH lists 29 nursing homes as “no active cases” but visitors are not allowed as of Wednesday, July 1. Two are waiting for a clearance letter from the state: Walnut Ridge Nursing & Rehab (Lawrence County) and Salem Place Nursing Home & Rehab (Faulkner County). Community Compassion Center Batesville will open for visitors on July 20.

ADH: NURSING HOME DEATHS 7/1/2020

  • Woodland Hills H&R Center: 10
  • Courtyard Rehab & Health: 7
  • Craighead Nursing Center: 7
  • Walnut Ridge Nursing & Rehab: 7
  • Allay Health Nursing Rehab: 5
  • Willow Bend Healthcare & rehab: 5
  • Briarwood Nursing Center: 5
  • Ash Flat Healthcare & Rehab: 4
  • The Springs of Magnolia/CCC-Magnolia: 4
  • BrookStone Assisted Living Community: 3
  • Rector Nursing Rehab: 3
  • Crestpark of Helena: 2
  • Summit Health & Rehab: 2
  • Villages of General Baptist West: 2
  • Cottage Lane Health & Rehab: 1
  • Dermott City Nursing Home: 1
  • Encore Health & Rehab at W Little Rock: 1
  • Fox Ridge Assisted Living – ALF: 1
  • Harris Healthcare: 1
  • North Hills Life Care & Rehab: 1
  • Robinson Nursing & Rehab: 1
  • Springs on Broadway-W Memphis/CCC- W Memphis 1
  • The Village at Valley Ranch: 1

JUST SO YOU KNOW: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEDICARE AND MEDICAID

  • MEDICARE: Federal program for 65+, or under 65 and have a disability, no matter your income.
  • MEDICAID: State and Federal health coverage program for low income.

More than 630,000 Arkansas residents are enrolled in Medicare as of December, 2018, according to healthinsurance.org. Only three other states have more Medicare beneficiaries: Alabama, Kentucky and Mississippi.

The Arkansas Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Division of Medical Services administers the state’s Medicaid program. This is a wide-ranging health care program for low-income individuals of all ages.

A CLOSER LOOK: Arkansas’ COVID-19 deaths

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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