The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says there have been at least 37,213 deaths and at least 216,827 confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 in our nation's nursing homes, but the News4 I-Team reviewed the most recent data posted online, as of July 5, and found those numbers don't include several homes in the D.C. area that had yet to file any reports.
Every nursing home in the country was supposed to begin filing weekly reports by mid-May to inform the public of what was going on inside each facility. If they don't, they're supposed to receive warning letters and then escalating fines.
The weekly reports are supposed to indicate the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths among residents and staff at the facility and their supply of personal protective equipment, hygiene supplies, ventilator capacity and any staffing shortages.
It's now been seven weeks since that mandate began, but according to the federal records CMS posts online, eight homes in D.C., Maryland and Virginia have yet to file.
The United Medical Nursing Home is the only facility in in D.C. that's missing from the list. However, data supplied to and released on the District's coronavirus web page lists dozens of cases and several deaths. A spokesperson told News4 United Medical Center transferred all of its residents out of its skilled nursing facility back in May, creating confusion over whether it needed to file federally and that a resolution is underway. Homes have the option whether to report any cases or deaths that occurred prior to May.
In Virginia, three homes have yet to file federally: Bon Secours DePaul, Little Sisters of the Poor, and Ridgecrest Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation.
A Bon Secours spokesperson said the DePaul Transitional Care Center closed in February and should not have been required to report.
Little Sisters of the Poor of Richmond and Ridgecrest Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation did not respond to emails requesting an explanation. Neither facility is listed in the Virginia Department of Health's online data either, so the public is unable to determine whether a COVID outbreak has occurred there or not.
In Maryland, four homes have failed to file federally, all of which have had outbreaks. Adelphi Nursing and Rehabilitation and the Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at Stadium Place have also been fined by the state for COVID-related deficiencies.
A spokesperson from the homes' parent company, Vita Healthcare Group, which also owns Largo Nursing and Rehabilitation, said all three facilities have tried to file weekly data, however there was a transmission issue, which has now been corrected.
Anchorage Health Care Center in Salisbury said it initially had trouble accessing the federal portal, however that has since been fixed. The facility says it began reporting data on July 1 and would continue to do so going forward.
CMS was initially supposed to begin sending warning letters to homes that hadn't filed by week three and administering fines after week four. The agency has not confirmed whether either of those enforcement mechanisms have commenced.
Reported by Jodie Fleischer, produced by Rick Yarborough, and shot and edited by Jeff Piper.