July 02, 2020

Wyden Presses Federal Health Officials for Answers On Nursing Homes Evicting Residents Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden joined with 11 colleagues in calling on federal health officials to act in response to nursing homes evicting residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) cites New York Times reports that nursing homes have evicted more than 6,400 residents since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Such evictions have been of great concern for many years, but they are particularly troubling at a time when seniors and people who experience disabilities are among the most vulnerable to a disease that is spiraling out of control in many states,” the senators wrote. “We seek assurances that you will use your existing authority to ensure that nursing homes are prevented from, and held accountable for, inappropriate discharges and evictions.”

“It is simply egregious to forcibly evict a resident and place them in a non-medical facility without access to essential medical care, supportive services, and protections against COVID-19 infection,” the lawmakers added.

In the letter, the Senators discuss current CMS restrictions on evicting nursing home and long-term care residents, but raise the need for significant additional action given that the COVID-19 pandemic has limited visits from CMS inspectors and residents’ families.

In addition to Wyden, others signing the letter led by U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) are U.S. Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tom Carper (D-DE), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

The entire letter is here.