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Current Administration Relaxes Oversight of Virginia Nursing Homes as Coronavirus Pandemic Approaches Its Peak

Earlier this year, the coronavirus pandemic took the country by storm, quickly spreading from what was just a few select cities to every state in the nation. One of the first clusters of COVID-19 cases was in a Washington state nursing home, where at least 37 residents died as a result of the virus. Indeed, among those most at risk for developing serious and potentially fatal coronavirus symptoms are those living in Virginia nursing homes. Currently, several states have banned friends and family members from visiting loved ones in nursing homes in an attempt to stop – or at least – slow the spread of COVID-19.

However, at a time when one may think that nursing home regulations would be getting stricter, the opposite seems to be the case. According to a recent news report by the New York Times, the current administration has been working to relax the regulations that control the country’s nursing homes. Shockingly, this even includes measures designed to combat the spread of deadly infections between residents.

Last July, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a plan that would, among other things, relieve nursing homes from complying with an Obama-era rule requiring facilities to employ at least one specialist with knowledge of preventing infections. Under the proposed rule, facilities would no longer need even a part-time infection disease specialist, and instead would require such a specialist to spend “sufficient time at the facility.”

The attorneys general in 17 states raised concerns that the newly proposed rule would threaten the “mental and physical security of some of the most vulnerable residents of our states.” Those against the implementation of the new rule also claim that it is so vague that it is “essentially meaningless.”

Proponents of the rule claim that it is not about easing up on nursing homes, and instead hopes to avoid “micromanaging” the staffing decisions in individual homes. In a concerning statement, a spokesperson for CMS also explained that “we have to make sure that our regulations are not so burdensome that they hurt the industry.”

While the new rules may go into effect in the near future, nursing homes will continue to have a legal obligation to protect their residents. Those with family members in a Virginia nursing home who believe that their loved one has been exposed to COVID-19 or otherwise mistreated should reach out to a dedicated Virginia personal injury attorney for immediate assistance.

Contact a Virginia Nursing Home Lawyer Today

If your loved one has contracted COVID-19 or otherwise suffered what you believe to be a preventable injury at a Virginia nursing home, contact the dedicated injury advocates at Robinson Law, PLLC. At our Virginia personal injury law firm, we represent nursing home residents and their families in claims against negligent and abusive employees and management. To learn more about how we can help your family deal hold the responsible parties accountable, call 703-649-4500 today. We also handle Virginia car accidents, slip and fall claims, and wrongful death cases. Calling is free, and we will not send you a bill for our services unless we can help you recover for your injuries.

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