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Brendan Williams

Most recent articles by Brendan Williams

With POC testing strategy, federal government continues to respond poorly to COVID-19 in nursing homes

In the federal government’s fight against COVID-19, nursing homes have effectively been left for dead. Despite a death count that began with the February outbreak in a Kirkland, Washington, nursing home, hospitals were prioritized for personal protective equipment.  Hospital workers were publicly held out as exemplars of courage. Meanwhile, a long-marginalized nursing home caregiving workforce that on…

Useless PPE befitting federal nursing home neglect

According to Paraprofessional Health Institute data, there were 581,000 nursing assistants working in nursing homes in 2018. Their median wage was just $13.38 an hour. Ninety-two percent were women, and the workforce is predominantly comprised of people of color — 37% are Black. Perhaps these demographics make it easier for some policymakers to marginalize these essential workers. They…

The floggings will continue until morale improves

Caught in the throes of a pandemic lethal to those they serve, nursing homes have been largely abandoned by policymakers. The $4.9 billion in federal relief provided in May was very welcome. However, it should be put into perspective. It was  less, for over 15,000 nursing homes nationwide, than the over-$5 billion a New York Times investigation found the…

Hospitals are heroic, while nursing homes are always to blame

Hospitals have always enjoyed “most favored nation” status in healthcare, and that’s even more true during the COVID-19 pandemic. But apparently you can’t have heroes without villains. While lauding the sacrifices of hospitals, the media doesn’t mention long-term care’s needs, instead just focusing on facility deaths and impliedly, if not explicitly, blaming facilities for each one. Ignored…

Brendan W. Williams, M.A., J.D. President/CEO New Hampshire Health Care Association

Coronavirus sheds light on nursing home underfunding

Why should it take the COVID-19 outbreak for policymakers to pay attention to nursing homes? Last year in the state of Washington, when Medicaid underfunding forced the closure of Keiro Northwest — a 41-year-old nonprofit Seattle nursing home built to serve Japanese-Americans — many policymakers reacted with indifference.  The staff wept as longtime residents, including…

Facts, not anecdotes, must guide long-term care policy

An oft-repeated canard that bedevils advocates for facility-based care is the assertion, by an organization that peddles Medicare insurance products, that “90% of people don’t want to be in a nursing home.” We live in a post-factual world, where even facts are dismissed as “Fake News,” and people consume information through the biased filters of…

Brendan W. Williams, M.A., J.D. President/CEO New Hampshire Health Care Association

‘Gimmick’ bashing from the expert

Seema Verma, administrator for The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, is at it again with a proposed rule that purports “to eliminate state financing gimmicks that cost the federal government millions each year.” Verma is an expert on costly gimmicks. Prior to taking her federal role, she was paid $1.2 million to engineer Iowa’s…

Ideology trumps rationality in Tennessee block grant proposal

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan once admitted he had been “dreaming” of cutting Medicaid since his college kegger days. But one person’s dream can be another’s nightmare. That’s now the case for Medicaid advocates in Tennessee. There Republican Gov. Bill Lee is seeking radical block grant authority from the federal government in which the state…

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