COVID-19 Outbreaks in Nursing Homes

Angie Szumlinski Studies

Contrary to early predictions, a recent study confirmed that CMS Star Rating is not an accurate predictor of whether a center will experience a COVID-19 outbreak. The recent study conducted at Harvard University identified that even though there was no evidence that star rating had a significant effect on facility outbreaks, a concerning finding was that facilities that employ staff from neighborhoods that are more exposed to COVID-19 infection are also the facilities that serve more non-white residents.

In conclusion, the study identified that the nursing homes experiencing the largest outbreaks of COVID-19 within a county was not random; it was also not largely determined by other measures of quality commonly cited in nursing home literature, such as star rating. Instead, a key determinant was the characteristics of the neighborhoods where nursing home staff members live and a higher rate of public transportation.

Stay well, stay safe and stay tuned!