In March California Globe reported the California Department of Public Health was suspending nursing home relegations to allow for COVID-19 patients to be “discharged to a Skilled Nursing Facility when clinically indicated.”
Following deadly COVID outbreaks in nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities, they were under a strict lockdown, and not even allowing spouses and family to visit elderly loved ones.
Over the weekend, a friend reported Eskaton was now accepting COVID patients. The company sent out a memo to staff announcing they were going to start taking COVID patients.
We’ve learned that COVID patients are worth $800 per day, compared to the $200 per day for long-term patients with mild health concerns or dementia.
It is not a stretch to see that COVID patients are a money maker for nursing homes.
With coordinated news reports curiously now claiming there will be another spike in COVID, what better way to ensure the spiked numbers than by sending COVID patients into nursing homes? It’s a death sentence to the elderly.
However, a “spike” in COVID “cases” isn’t a “spike” in COVID deaths, as the media is implying. The real spike is in testing. While more testing is finding more people who carry the virus, it is not translating to hospitalizations or deaths – the recovery rate is still over 98%.
Sacramento County reports 63 deaths due to coronavirus, noting that the “individuals who died from complications of COVID-19 were either age 65+ and/or had underlying health conditions and/or other risk factors.”
As Andy Caldwell reported for California Globe, he filed a request for inquiry and investigation with the Santa Barbara District Attorney and the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury Foreman, regarding the county’s public health department oversight of the COVID-19 outbreak because of its failure to provide comprehensive testing in senior care facilities, demonstrably the greatest concentration of people-at-risk under the Public Health Department’s responsibility.
Caldwell reported on a skilled nursing facility in Santa Maria which experienced 24 cases of COVID-19 among residents and 12 among staff, months after the entire country was informed of the dangers of COVID-19 among the elderly.
“On May 5, the public health department staff told the County Board of Supervisors that six facilities had outbreaks, affecting over 150 patients, but that a plan was in place to monitor and test this vulnerable population,” – but not until the end of June, Caldwell reported.
California Globe contacted the California Department of Public Health in March and asked, “Is the CDPH suspending the very regulations that keep patients safe from abuse and incompetence?” and “Does this mean COVID-19 patients may be sent to nursing facilities?”
CDPH answered the first question but not the second question. The April 1 directive states only “Patients with no clinical concern for COVID-19 may be transferred from hospitals to SNFs following usual procedures.”
The bottom line is that the California Department of Public Health was directing skilled nursing facilities to take in COVID-19 patients, but at what cost and why with plenty of hospital beds available? California never experienced a surge or spike of COVID patients. CDPH acknowledges that the elderly patients already in skilled nursing facilities are “California’s most vulnerable,” so why would they send any COVID-19 patients to facilities with the most frail and vulnerable patients?
As Caldwell asked, “Do senior lives matter?” Apparently not when public health doctors and politicians need the COVID numbers spiked, and skilled nursing facilities could use the extra money.
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