Issues reported in nursing home COVID-19 data


(WEHT)- While families can now access federal data about COVID-19 cases within nursing homes, some of the information they find may not be entirely accurate.

In some cases, the number of deaths within a facility shown on the website can actually be lower than what facilities have reported.

The list reportedly shows the number of cases reported since June 7 but Indiana AARP state director Sarah Waddle says it is a safety issue, adding people need the best information available to make informed decisions for loved ones.

The list, produced by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS,) showed there were no deaths at a pair of central Indiana nursing homes. However, the company that operates these facilities confirmed more than 20 deaths at each nursing home.

The list shows one person died at another central Indiana facility but that facility says there are 16 known deaths there.

The CMS acknowledges this is preliminary data that would need to be refined over time. While nursing homes are required to report COVID-19 data to the CDC, they have the option to report cases from before early May if they want to.

Indiana officials maintain that communication between the facility and residents or their representatives helps ensure the information is accurate and long term care facilities are required to report COVID-19 data to the ISDH.

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(This story was originally published on June 19, 2020)


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