SHNS Coronavirus Tracker April 14, 2020

SHNS Coronavirus Tracker (Tuesday PM Update) The Latest on COVID-19 SHNS Staff4/14/20 6:14 PM APRIL 14, 2020.....Total deaths in Massachusetts linked to the coronavirus pandemic approached 1,000 on Tuesday as Gov. Charlie Baker touted the opening of one field hospital and announced plans for two others. Although overall confirmed cases for two days straight have increased at a lower rate than they have over the last week, public health officials cautioned against interpreting trends from daily totals and Baker said

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Nursing home leader warns of death and devastation

Nursing home leader warns of death and devastation Asks state for more testing, more PPE, and $130m more a month April 13, 2020 THE PRESIDENT of the Massachusetts Senior Care Association on Monday warned of death and devastation at nursing homes unless the state dramatically ramps up COVID-19 testing of residents and employees, prioritizes the delivery of personal protective equipment, and funnels an additional $130 million a month to the industry. In a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker, House Speaker

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Massachusetts nursing homes fighting coronavirus are ‘teetering on the edge of collapse’

Senior care facilities are “teetering on the edge of collapse” without enough protective gear, testing and funding to keep Massachusetts’ most vulnerable populations alive as coronavirus spreads through nursing homes at an alarming rate. “In a lot of ways, we are the front line of this battle. And that’s why the urgency of the personal protective equipment and the staffing and the resources is now,” said Massachusetts Senior Care Association President Tara Gregorio. “This was already a system in crisis

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Nursing Home Advocates Call For More Funds, Tests And Protective Equipment

In the past week, dozens of Massachusetts nursing home residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 20 have died from the disease. Now, an industry group that represents hundreds of senior care facilities around the state says their members are facing a major a shortage of staffing, funds, and personal protective equipment like masks and gowns. "We have nursing facilities today that do not have adequate supplies of masks, gloves and gowns," said Tara Gregorio, president of the

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‘Some of them are very scared’: A Wellesley nursing home worker shares how residents are coping during the coronavirus pandemic

By Edelyne Bontemps April 2, 2020 Coronavirus is affecting everyday life — even for those who have not been infected. We are sharing stories of its impact on local people. This story was told by Edelyne Bontemps, a full-time Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Elizabeth Seton Residence Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation in Wellesley, and has been transcribed and edited from a conversation with Kristi Palma. My name is Edelyne Bontemps. I’m a CNA at Elizabeth Seton in Wellesley. Right now

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Nursing homes caring for most vulnerable to coronavirus appeal for help

Massachusetts nursing homes caring for many of the people most vulnerable to the coronavirus made a public plea Tuesday for additional funding, staff and supplies to help protect residents and their caregivers. Tara Gregorio, president of the Massachusetts Senior Care Association, which represents nearly 400 nursing homes, said their ability to meet the needs of both depends largely on the ability to secure personal protective equipment, including masks, scrubs and gloves. “We’re clearly in the bull’s-eye right now,” said Richard

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Cape Cod Nursing Homes Suffer from a Shortage of Nursing Assistants

Cape Cod's population is aging, at the same time the region has fewer and fewer working professionals to take care of the elderly. That shortage has been a factor in a number of nursing homes closing on the Cape and South Coast earlier this year. A large part of the nursing home workforce is made up of Certified Nursing Assistants – also known as CNAs. Often paid minimum wage, these workers are the first line of caretakers for the elderly

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Losing money and struggling to find workers, a nursing home operator feels the squeeze

By Robert Weisman Globe Staff June 23, 2019 DARTMOUTH — When five Skyline nursing homes shut their doors last month, Frank Romano came to the rescue. He accepted more than three dozen old and frail residents at a pair of nursing homes he owns here and in neighboring New Bedford. Now he’s scrambling to find nurses to care for them, along with more kitchen, laundry, and maintenance workers. As he looks for help, he’s struggling to operate the properties profitably

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Industry Says 35 Nursing Homes at Risk of Closure in 2019

By Chris Lisinski STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, APRIL 4, 2019......Almost three dozen nursing homes across Massachusetts are at risk of closing this year, threatening the ability of senior citizens to access needed care, an industry group warned. In recent months, 20 facilities have shuttered, and another 35 could do so by the end of the year if lawmakers do not act to close a $360 million annual funding gap, according to the Massachusetts Senior Care Association. MassHealth

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Why nursing homes are closing across Massachusetts

Lori Ferrante has a lot on her mind. She oversees Elizabeth Seton Residence, one of the highest-ranked nursing homes in the state, which historically has meant stable finances and a long wait list to get in. But the wait list has shortened in recent years, and while occupancy rates are regularly higher than industry averages, Ferrante nonetheless finds herself regularly checking the nonprofit’s bank accounts to ensure enough money is available to cover payroll. “I didn’t need to do that

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Nursing homes throughout Mass. face ‘colossal collapse’ from Medicaid shortfall

The economy is booming, unemployment is low and a “silver tsunami” of baby boomers — the wealthiest generation in U.S. history — are beginning to retire and make decisions about their long-term health care. It seems like it would be a good time to be in the nursing home business. But in reality, senior care advocates, workers and even residents say the industry is in a financial crisis in Massachusetts. According to the Massachusetts Senior Care Association, an advocacy organization

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Neal honored for nursing home advocacy

WALTHAM — Congressman Richard E. Neal has received the "A Better Life" award from the Massachusetts Senior Care Association for his tireless advocacy on behalf of nursing home residents and staff. He was honored for his commitment and leadership in protecting access to Medicaid and Medicare for vulnerable elderly residents and patients needing skilled nursing and rehabilitation services.

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As Trump targets immigrants, elderly and others brace to lose caregivers

By Melissa Bailey | Kaiser Health News BOSTON — The two women have been together since 2011, a 96-year-old originally from Italy and a Haitian immigrant who has helped her remain in her home — giving her showers, changing her clothes, taking her to her favorite parks and discount grocery stores. “Hello, bella,” Nirva greets Isolina Dicenso, using the Italian word for “beautiful.” “Hi, baby,” Dicenso replies. But changes to federal immigration policy are putting both at risk. Haitian caregivers

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Hillcrest Commons Promotes Concurrent Therapy To Neal

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hillcrest Commons would like to expand its group and concurrent therapy programs, but a 7-year-old Medicaid and Medicare law prevent it from doing so. But, now there is legislation that could allow for those sessions to have greater coverage, which advocates say is a benefit to the patient, the health-care organization, and to the government. "There is pending legislation in Washington that would allow for greater therapy services for people access their Medicare benefit. Instead of one-on-one

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In special mural, joy and beauty come in pieces

STOUGHTON — Joy showed up in the lobby of the Copley at Stoughton nursing home on Sumner Street 12 days before Christmas. Music played. Eggnog and cookies were served. And while a mural of a scene from a Norman Rockwell illustration was unveiled, the nursing home administrator and activities director made congratulatory speeches. What had been 24 separate panels, each measuring 16 inches by 20 inches, was being revealed as a whole for the first time. Fifteen residents and almost

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Outside the Box: Advocacy on the edge of crisis

Tara Gregorio has had a busy first year. Since coming on to the Massachusetts Senior Care Association as its president in January, she has had to grapple with leading an organization representing approximately 400 nursing facilities and assisted living residences, caring for some of the most vulnerable people in the state. Of those facilities, stagnant reimbursements mean approximately half are operating in the red. The organization said 180 are at risk of closing, taking with them more than 25,000 jobs

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Lawmakers restore Medicaid nursing home funding reduced by Gov. Baker

By Elisha Machado BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts nursing homes are getting more funding from the state this year than approved by Governor Charlie Baker in July. They say the money can help ensure their workers are paid a living wage. Nursing home facilities are the second largest health care employer in the state, providing jobs for 77,000 workers. But nursing facilities are underfunded by $37 per day, per patient, according to the Massachusetts Senior Care Association. “Since we’re so dependent

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Nursing homes struggling to make money

By Peter Jasinski, pjasinski@sentinelandenterprise.com LEOMINSTER -- Bill Reidt recalls that when he got his start in long-term nursing care more than 30 years ago, there were hundreds more facilities throughout the state than there are now. "There were over 600 nursing homes in Massachusetts, and a lot of them were the smaller ones that everyone loved. But they couldn't function and they closed," said Reidt, executive director of Life Care Center of Leominster. "Right now there are buildings that have

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Mass. Nursing Home Industry Facing Crisis, Industry Says

BOSTON -- Nursing home administrators and staff sounded the alarm on Monday, telling lawmakers their industry is underfunded and needs help. “There has never been more urgency in the need to stabilize the commonwealth’s nursing facilities,” Matt Salmon, the CEO of Salmon Health and Retirement and vice chairman of the Massachusetts Senior Care Association board, said at a Joint Committee on Elder Affairs hearing. “We’re facing an unprecedented financial crisis that is threatening the quality of care that we provide

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A Crisis in Care

State Sen. Thomas M. McGee deserves praise for working to address large-scale financial problems plaguing Massachusetts’ nursing homes. McGee filed a budget amendment increasing the state Senate allocation for the nursing facility Medicaid rates account to $362.9 million from $345.1 million now budgeted by the Senate and Gov. Baker. Nursing home advocates are begging for help to close a $37 a day gap between the cost of care and the state MassHealth reimbursement rate. They say Massachusetts nursing homes are

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Nursing homes hitting crisis point

Nursing homes hitting crisis point By Katie Lannan State House News Service BOSTON -- One out of every seven direct care staff positions in Massachusetts nursing homes is vacant, the number of deficiency-free homes has dropped since 2013, and half of the facilities have less than four days of cash on hand, according to advocates seeking more state support for nursing homes. "We are seeing an erosion of financial support for nursing facility care that is beginning to impact staffing

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Industry: Nursing homes at "crisis point" due to state underpayments

By Katie Lannan
 STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, MAY 22, 2017....One out of every seven direct care staff positions in Massachusetts nursing homes is vacant, the number of deficiency-free homes has dropped since 2013, and half of the facilities have less than four days of cash on hand, according to advocates seeking more state support for nursing homes. "We are seeing an erosion of financial support for nursing facility care that is beginning to impact staffing as well as quality resident care,"

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Doctors want Trump to allow Haitians to stay in US

By Maria Cramer Hundreds of doctors signed a letter Tuesday calling on the Department of Homeland Security to allow about 58,000 Haitians affected by the country’s 2010 earthquake to stay in the United States for at least another year. The letter, signed by 552 doctors from across the country, asked Secretary John F. Kelly to extend their participation in a program known as temporary protected status for another 18 months. Under the program, immigrants living in the United States can

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