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Could Single Occupancy Rooms In Nursing Homes Be A Solution To Curb COVID-19 Outbreaks?

Published: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 3:57pm
Updated: Monday, February 22, 2021 - 12:46pm

Could the U.S. see another spike in nursing home deaths due to the coronavirus? At least one industry group says yes. But as providers gear up for another possible influx of cases, one thing is clear: The way many nursing homes are set up, with more than one person in a room, might need to change. 

Many Americans are not financially set up to retire — let alone end up in long-term care, which can cost thousands each month. And, no, Medicare does not pay for long-term care. Though many people do rely on Medicaid to cover costs, which can mean roommates

David Voepel is the CEO of the Arizona Healthcare Association which represents skilled nursing facilities. 

"So what a lot of folks don't understand is that because it's the public dollar, they have to be very judicious with those dollars, and giving somebody something more than what private insurance or what others will pay privately, cannot be done. It's a safety net," Voepel said. 

Voepel says the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid is pushing for more single-occupancy rooms, which in an age of COVID might be one solution when it comes to infection control.

Coronavirus Aging