A sweep of genius in long-term care procurement
James M. Berklan, McKnight's Editor
The great state of California is enabling each of its 1,200 skilled nursing facilities to acquire up to 360 personal respirators (a roughly $540 value) at no cost at all.
The reason for the largesse? An abundance of emergency preparedness for an influenza A (H1N1) outbreak that never hit. Another reason? The state's urge to do some spring house cleaning.
They officially call it “consolidating warehouse space." But those who have ever been on the wrong end of Mom's broom know that's just code for, “Get this extra junk out of here before I throw it out!”
It brings to mind the big federal giveaway of cheese in years gone by. The full details escape a young man's memory, but at one time the entire country seemed to be impersonating Wisconsin. Cheese was coming out of our ears, or so it seemed. One had to qualify economically to get the freebie fromage, of course, but then once you did, it seemed recipients had to beat off their benefactors to stop the flow. Late-night jokesters wound up having their fun with it. But it actually was an important program for many needy people who came to rely on the five-pound bricks of cheese and other surplus food items.
So now it's time for Californians to back up the trucks and cart away the excess stuff. All they have to do is pledge to store the N95 masks, not sell them or donate them, and only use them as intended in a public emergency. Can California be the only one to be in a position to do this, with masks or other surplus items?
Except for when storage problems would come into play, it's hard to think of a reason why any provider would pass up this opportunity. Deliveries are to begin this summer.
Now that's a breath of fresh air.