A post-pandemic path to solving the nursing home crisis

A collaboration of experts across Penn schools has created a detailed, long-term policy plan for nursing homes, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In “Long-Term Care Policy after Covid-19 – Solving the Nursing Home Crisis,” published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a collaboration of experts across several Penn schools advocates for “a combination of funding, regulation, and a new strategy that fully supports a range of institutional and noninstitutional care.”

Nursing home hallway with an empty wheelchair parked outside an open door.

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School Professor Allison K. Hoffman; Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine and Robert D. Eilers Professor of Health Care Management at the Wharton School Rachel M. Werner; and Associate Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine Norma B. Coe co-authored the pathbreaking paper.

Hoffman, Werner, and Coe argue that the instability of nursing homes pre-pandemic only worsened through the coronavirus crisis and that we need new solutions to how we pay for and provide long-term care. The authors identify three major areas for change: (1) substantially increased Medicaid funding in care in all settings, including home-based settings; (2) better, safe, affordable residential options; and (3) a more coherent financing system to pay for long-term care.

“We are in a moment of crisis for nursing homes,” they write. “Now should be a time of reckoning with the fundamental flaws in the organization of long-term care in this country. There are no easy fixes, but we must do better.”

Read more at Penn Law News.