AMDA Urges Cooperation Between PALTC, Hospitals, and Public Health Agencies in Responding to COVID-19
New York State Advisory on Hospital Discharges and Admissions to Nursing Homes is Ill Advised
AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care (PALTC) Medicine urges PALTC organizations, hospitals, and public health authorities to work together to develop surge capacity in response to the COVID-19 crisis. By contrast, yesterday’s New York State Department of Health advisory on hospital discharges and admissions to nursing home, stating that nursing home operators must accept COVID-19 patients who are discharged from hospitals, is ill advised. AMDA has issued a statement addressing this advisory, which should not become a template for states’ response to COVID-19.
“There is a clear need to balance the issues of patient safety, surge management, and conflicting guidelines and public policy around hospital-SNF transfers,” the statement says. “We find the New York State advisory to be over-reaching, not consistent with science, unenforceable, and beyond all, not in the least consistent with patient safety principles.”
The statement also notes:
- It is essential to consider the health, welfare, and safety of frail individuals residing in PALTC facilities, where the attack rate and case-fatality rates from COVID-19 are staggering
- Decisions on patient transfer are not at the sole directive of hospitals or hospital physicians; they are joint responsibilities, “since the impact may likely have dire, indeed fatal, consequences”
- Unsafe transfers will increase the risk of transmission in PALTC facilities, which ultimately will “serve to increase the return flow back to hospitals, overwhelming capacity, endangering more healthcare personnel, and escalating the death rate”
“We encourage the State of New York to redirect its energies to developing cooperative solutions to the COVID-19 crisis,” says AMDA Executive Director Christopher E. Laxton, CAE. “As we note in our statement, these include ensuring adequate personal protective equipment is available to all healthcare providers, ramping up needed testing capabilities, shortening test turnaround times, and identifying, standing up, and staffing alternative care sites.”
About the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings. Dedicated to defining and improving quality, we advance our mission through timely professional development, evidence-based clinical guidance, and tireless advocacy on behalf of members, patients, families, and staff. Visit www.paltc.org for more information.