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Saturday, July 4, 2020

HHS Does Not Require Congregate Setting to Report COVID Data

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families. Those challenges get far more intense during disasters.  And coronavirus is proving to be the biggest disaster of all.

From the American Civil Liberties Union:
It took the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) months after declaring COVID-19 a national emergency to start requiring nursing homes to report deaths and infections despite ample evidence that these facilities were at high risk. Even now, nursing homes are only required to report data from May 8 onward. HHS doesn’t require other congregate settings for people with disabilities, such as psychiatric homes, to report at all. This lack of transparency, in addition to the government’s systemic mismanagement of nursing homes and other congregate settings, has helped create the crisis we see today.
People with disabilities and the people who work with them deserve to be counted. States can and should modify current policies to collect and publicize vital data while maintaining privacy standards. Last week, the ACLU filed a petition calling on HHS to do its job to address this crisis — and its job includes collecting and reporting full data from facilities that receive Medicaid or Medicare dollars.