States need to hold nursing homes accountable rather than shield them from lawsuits

States are increasingly taking action to protect nursing homes and health care providers against lawsuits. But law professors at the University of Arizona and Indiana University assert that nursing homes need more scrutiny, not less, given historically high numbers of health violations. A 2019 report from the Government Accountability Office found that 82% of nursing homes were cited for infection control problems. Even knowing this, many facilities did not implement basic guidelines in response to the pandemic. As of June 5, at least 21 states had recently acted by emergency orders or legislation to shield health care providers from lawsuits related to negligence during the pandemic. Nine of these states—including Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York— explicitly protect nursing homes from lawsuits. However, neither New Hampshire nor Maine have taken actions to prohibit nursing home lawsuits. #covid-19

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