NEBRASKA — Since the pandemic began, state and federal inspectors charged with holding nursing and assisted-living homes to mandated standards have been giving special attention to homes' efforts to prevent the coronavirus from entering and spreading inside their walls.
We believe these inspection reports should be easily obtainable, so that you can easily learn how well these homes protected those especially vulnerable to falling victim to COVID-19. Nearly half of Nebraskans that have died of this virus were long-term care facility residents.
Below, that's what we've made possible. You can search by facility name and town to see the inspection reports we've turned up so far by filing records requests with Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services.
This list is incomplete. The state withheld some records when the request was returned, and inspections have continued to take place. Some facilities are unlicensed and not inspected by the government. You are more likely to find a nursing home than an assisted living facility below, because inspections focused on infection control occurred at skilled nursing facilities after June 1, directed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. But CMS doesn't oversee assisted living facilities, only Nebraska DHHS does.
We are working to update the information. We submitted a records request for an update on January 29. It also appears additional information is available from the federal government, which we are working to add to our database as well.
You can click on the link in the 'more information' column to see more details. For facilities where the inspector found issues, you'll find what the inspectors say they saw and a letter including a summary of penalties, and the facility's plan of correction. Otherwise, you'll find a letter to the facility informing them no issues were found.
Facilities are noted out of compliance by A-L scope and severity score, with L being the most significant. Some facilities were not given scope and severity score, but were inspected for infection control procedures with similar criteria.
Overall, how have Nebraska long-term care facilities done?
Nearly half of Nebraskans who have died of the coronavirus were residents of the state's 206 nursing homes and 289 assisted living facilities, according to counts provided by DHHS this week.
As of Feb. 7, nearly 1,000 Nebraska long-term care facility residents had died of COVID-19, and about 4,700 had tested positive, meaning more than 20% of long-term care facility residents who have tested positive have died related to the virus. In addition, five long-term care facility staff members have died related to COVID-19 in Nebraska.
During at least 63 inspections, long-term care facilities have failed to demonstrate they've met the standards for infection control, according to a 3 News Now Investigator analysis.
For every inspection that found issues related to infection control, about 2.5 others were found to be in compliance with the regulations. We know of 157 inspections that found no issues. However, because DHHS said they withheld inspection records for facilities that had yet to submit a plan of correction, we were more likely to get records finding no issues.
Use the tool below or click here to search.
You can find all documents obtained during this project here. You can reach us at email@example.com.