Keenan and Hatcher Detail Challenges Long-Term Care Facilities Face During COVID-19

Shook Partner Matt Keenan and Associate Jenn Hatcher have authored an article for Senior Housing Business on a U.S. Senate report that reviews how nursing homes have handled COVID-19. “It is noteworthy that the report does not blame operators or their employees,” Keenan and Hatcher explain. “Instead, it condemns the administration, citing, among other things, insufficient access to diagnostic testing, missteps in procurement and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), and other failures in planning and execution.”

Keenan and Hatcher discuss how the best practices for mitigating COVID-19 risks have evolved quickly throughout the pandemic and how plaintiff’s attorneys seek to hold long-term care facilities (LTCs) liable for failing to meet standards soon after they are established. “LTC facilities must come together to carefully evaluate the recommendations from the Senate report, among others. Clearly, we need better data collection, not just of cases and deaths, but also of resources available in each LTC facility.”

“Flexibility and understanding that recommendations and policies continue to change as the science evolves is key to LTC facilities withstanding the burden the pandemic has placed on their shoulders,” Keenan and Hatcher conclude. “They need clear guidance on how to move forward as states move through the phases of reopening.”