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U.S. Department of Justice. (Photo: Wikipedia)

U.S. DOJ Should Also Investigate California Sending COVID Patients to Skilled Nursing Facilities

DOJ weighs probe of four blue states over COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes

By Katy Grimes, August 26, 2020 5:56 pm

On April 2nd 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.

The U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday it may investigate whether four states led by Democratic governors violated the civil rights of the elderly by requiring nursing homes to admit coronavirus patients, a practice which critics say led to thousands of deaths, Yahoo News reported. “The department said it was seeking COVID-19 data related to nursing homes from four states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan.”

The DOJ needs to add California to this investigation.

“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,” the Globe reported. “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.”

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?

On March 3, 2020, the Attorney General announced the Justice Department’s National Nursing Home Initiative, the U.S. DOJ reported – the month before California lifted its nursing home regulations.

Do senior lives matter? Apparently not when public health doctors and politicians need the COVID numbers spiked, and skilled nursing facilities prioritize extra money.

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2 thoughts on “U.S. DOJ Should Also Investigate California Sending COVID Patients to Skilled Nursing Facilities

  1. I read where the investigations of the other 4 states will be under authority of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act.

  2. Completely agree this needs to be investigated. Some people will do anything for money. I only hope it wasn’t about something even more sinister than that. But will leave that to the DOJ and I suspect we WILL see an investigation of this outrage. Sure hope we will see it soon.

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