May 20, 2020

AARP Pushes State For More Long-Term Care Facility Transparency

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Brandon Smith/IPB News

AARP Indiana is calling on the state to release more detailed data on cases of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities.

The group sent a letter today to Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, the Indiana State Department of Health, and the Family and Social Services Administration calling for greater transparency.

During a press briefing Monday, state officials confirmed they were collecting county and facility-level data, but did not say why it is not being made publicly available.

Dan Rusyniak is the Chief Medical Officer for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

"We have, through the executive order, asked all long-term care facilities to report data to us on cases and deaths in their facilities," he said during Monday's briefing.

All of Indiana’s neighboring states continue to release detailed data on COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities.

The state’s weekly update of pandemic deaths at the state’s nursing homes, released each Monday, shows that deaths at those homes increased from 148 to 732 in a week. That number now accounts for more than 41% of Indiana’s toll from both confirmed and presumed COVID-19 deaths.

A representative from Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s office referred to the Indiana State Department of Health for comment.

The department, through the state's Joint Information Center, provided the following statement:

"As Dr. [Kristina] Box has said previously, ISDH is providing aggregate data for long-term care facilities but has directed facilities to communicate their COVID status with residents and families. This allows for real-time updates between the facilities and the residents and their representatives."

Dr. Kristina Box is Indiana's State Health Commissioner.

Several individuals with family members in long-term care have expressed concerns over facilities not reporting data after requesting it.

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